SSPE Could Account for 15% of All Pulmonary Embolisms

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SSPE, Pulmonary Embolisms
SSPE, Pulmonary Embolisms

(HealthDay News) — Sub-segmental pulmonary embolism (SSPE) represents a substantial burden of total pulmonary embolisms (PEs), according to research published online December 1 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Jennifer Goy, MD, from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues reviewed the charts of 2,213 patients who underwent computed tomography pulmonary angiography in three teaching hospitals (2009–2011). The authors sought to ascertain the frequency with which SSPE patients received anticoagulation therapy, as well as the incidences of bleeding complications and recurrent thrombosis.

The researchers observed 550 cases of PE (24.8%), with SSPEs accounting for the largest pulmonary filling defects (15% of identified PEs). An alternative diagnosis to PE was identified on computed tomography to explain the patients' symptoms in 55 of the 82 SSPE cases. Just over half of the SSPE patients (43) received anticoagulation. Of those receiving anticoagulation, major, life-threatening bleeding complications occurred in two patients. There were no cases of recurrent thrombosis in any SSPE patients, with or without anticoagulation.

"Randomized controlled trial data is needed to further investigate the risks and benefits of anticoagulation in patients with SSPE," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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