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Papers of the Week

2019 Sep 26




Catheter-based Therapy for Massive Pulmonary Embolism in an Elderly Woman with Chest Pain and Dyspnea: Case Report.


Ramos HR, Ceballos M S, Alvarenga H, Conci EC, Balestrini CS
Cureus. 2019 Sep 26; 11(9):e5771.
PMID: 31723530.


An 80-year-old woman presented with chest pain and dyspnea. The electrocardiogram (ECG) showed a known chronic complete left bundle branch block and elevated levels of high-sensitivity cardiac Troponin T. The first diagnosis was acute coronary syndrome, but a few hours later she developed shock and syncope; after resuscitation a coronary angiography was performed but it did not show any acute coronary obstruction. The echocardiogram showed McConnell's sign suggesting a massive pulmonary embolism; the pulmonary angiography showed large thrombi in both branches of pulmonary artery, so a catheter-based treatment was performed with thromboaspiration and rt-PA administration, and a significant improvement of blood pressure, clinical condition and right ventricle function was observed. In spite of bleeding at the puncture sites (femoral artery and vein), controlled by local compression, catheter-based therapy in massive pulmonary embolism was associated with survival and satisfactory outcome. A combined fragmentation/thromboaspiration and catheter-directed fibrinolysis strategy may be useful to reduce the embolic load, improve RV function, and reduce mortality.