Factors associated with the detection of raised systolic pulmonary artery pressure (sPAP) levels in patients with a prior episode of pulmonary embolism (PE) are not well known.
We used the RIETE Registry database to identify factors associated with the finding of sPAP levels ≥50 mm Hg on trans-thoracic echocardiography, in 557 patients with a prior episode of acute, symptomatic PE.
Sixty-two patients (11.1%; 95% CI: 8.72–14.1) had sPAP levels ≥50 mm Hg. These patients were more likely women, older, and more likely had chronic lung disease, heart failure, renal insufficiency or leg varicosities than those with PAP levels <50 mm Hg. During the index PE event, they more likely had recent immobility, and more likely presented with hypoxemia, increased sPAP levels, atrial fibrillation, or right bundle branch block. On multivariate analysis, women aged ≥70 years (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.0–3.7), chronic heart or chronic lung disease (HR: 2.4; 95% CI: 1.3–4.4), atrial fibrillation at PE presentation (HR: 2.8; 95% CI: 1.3–6.1) or varicose veins (HR: 1.8; 95% CI: 1.0–3.3) were all associated with an increased risk to have raised sPAP levels. Chronic heart disease, varicose veins, and atrial fibrillation were independent predictors in women, while chronic heart disease, atrial fibrillation, a right bundle branch block or an S1Q3T3 pattern on the electrocardiogram were independent predictors in men.
Women aged ≥70 years more likely had raised sPAP levels than men after a PE episode. Additional variables influencing this risk seem to differ according to gender.
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Published online: February 27, 2013
Accepted: January 28, 2013
Received in revised form: January 27, 2013
Received: September 26, 2012
© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.