Percutaneous Mechanical Thrombectomy in Patients with High-risk Pulmonary Embolism and Contraindications for Thrombolytic Therapy
Background: High-risk pulmonary embolism is associated with a high early mortality rate. We report our experience with percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy in patients with high-risk pulmonary embolism and contraindications for thrombolytic therapy.
Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of consecutive patients with high-risk pulmonary embolism and contraindications to thrombolytic therapy. They were treated with percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy which included thrombectomy and additional thrombus aspiration when needed. Clinical parameters, clinical success, and survival to discharge were measured.
Results: From November 2005 to September 2015 we treated 25 patients with a mean age of 62.6±12.7 years, 64% were men. Mean simplified Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index was 2,9. Mean maximum lactate levels were 7.8±6.6 mmol/l, vasopressors were used in 77%, 59% needed mechanical ventilation. Mechanical treatment included thrombus fragmentation complemented with aspiration (56%) and aspiration using Aspirex®S catheter (44%). Local (5 patients, 20%) and systemic (3 patients, 12 %) thrombolytic therapy was used. We observed nonsignificant improvements in systemic blood pressure (100±41 mm Hg vs 119±34, p = 0,100) and heart frequency (99±35 min-1 vs 87±31 min-1, p = 0,326) before and after treatment, respectively. Peak systolic tricuspid pressure gradient was significantly lower after treatment (57±14 mm Hg vs 31±3 mm Hg, p = 0.018). Overall the procedure was technically successful in 20 patients (80%) and 17 patients (68%) survived to hospital discharge.
Conclusions: In patients with high-risk pulmonary embolism who cannot receive thrombolytic therapy, percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy is a promising alternative to reduce pulmonary artery pressure.