Thrombolytic therapy for pulmonary embolism: lessons from recent clinical trials

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Abstract

Pulmonary embolism is a common disease that is associated with significant mobility and mortality. Thrombolysis is potentially life saving when used in conjunction with anticoagulant therapy. Indications for thrombolysis for pulmonary embolism are not well defined. In patients with acute massive pulmonary embolism and hypotension, thrombolytic therapy offers some benefits in terms of mortality reduction. The use of thrombolysis in patients with stable haemodynamics has been controversial for more than two decades. Recent clinical studies have indicated that thrombolytic treatment in conjunction with heparin in patients with submassive pulmonary embolism and normal blood pressure can prevent deterioration of the disease and diminish the need for more intensive therapies during hospitalisation. The role of prehospital thrombolytic therapy for acute pulmonary embolism is unclear and further clinical studies are warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalAustralasian Journal of Paramedicine
Volume3
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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