4 years ago

Association between computed tomography obstruction index and mortality in elderly patients with acute pulmonary embolism: A prospective validation study

Stéphane Breault, Salah D. Qanadli, Tobias Tritschler, Drahomir Aujesky, Andreas Limacher, Nicolas Rodondi, Marie Méan

by Marie Méan, Tobias Tritschler, Andreas Limacher, Stéphane Breault, Nicolas Rodondi, Drahomir Aujesky, Salah D. Qanadli


Computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) has not only become the method of choice for diagnosing acute pulmonary embolism (PE), it also allows for risk stratification of patients with PE. To date, no study has specifically examined the predictive value of CTPA findings to assess short-term prognosis in elderly patients with acute PE who are particularly vulnerable to adverse outcomes.


We studied 291 patients aged ≥65 years with acute symptomatic PE in a prospective multicenter cohort. Outcomes were 90-day overall and PE-related mortality, recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE), and length of hospital stay (LOS). We examined associations of the computed tomography obstruction index (CTOI) and the right ventricular (RV) to left ventricular (LV) diameter ratio with mortality and VTE recurrence using survival analysis, adjusting for provoked VTE, Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index (PESI), and anticoagulation as a time-varying covariate.


Overall, 15 patients died within 90 days. There was no association between the CTOI and 90-day overall mortality (adjusted hazard ratio per 10% CTOI increase 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.70–1.21; P = 0.54), but between the CTOI and PE-related 90-day mortality (adjusted sub-hazard ratio per 10% CTOI increase 1.36; 95% CI 1.03–1.81; P = 0.03). The RV/LV diameter ratio was neither associated with overall nor PE-related 90-day mortality. The CTOI and the RV/LV diameter ratio were significantly associated with VTE recurrence and LOS.


In elderly patients with acute PE, the CTOI was associated with PE-related 90-day mortality but not with overall 90-day mortality. The RV/LV diameter ratio did not predict mortality. Both measures predicted VTE recurrence and LOS. The evaluated CTPA findings do not appear to offer any advantage over the PESI in terms of mortality prediction.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179224

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