A retrospective analysis of outcomes in low- and intermediate-high-risk pulmonary embolism patients managed on an ambulatory medical unit in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Michael E Reschen
  • Jonathan Raby
  • Jordan Bowen
  • Sudhir Singh
  • Christopher A O'Callaghan

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Oxford


Pulmonary embolism (PE) is common and guidelines recommend outpatient care only for PE patients with low predicted mortality. Outcomes for patients with intermediate-to-high predicted mortality managed as outpatients are unknown. 

Electronic records were analysed for adults with PE managed on our ambulatory care unit over 2 years. Patients were stratified into low or intermediate-to-high mortality risk groups using the Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index (PESI). Primary outcomes were the proportion of patients ambulated, 30-day all-cause mortality, 30-day PE-specific mortality and 30-day re-admission rate. 

Of 199 PE patients, 74% were ambulated and at 30 days, all-cause mortality was 2% (four out of 199) and PE-specific mortality was 1% (two out of 199). Ambulated patients had lower PESI scores, better vital signs and lower troponin levels (morning attendance favoured ambulation). Over a third of ambulated patients had an intermediate-to-high risk PESI score but their all-cause mortality rate was low at 1.9% (one out of 52). In patients with intermediate-to-high risk, oxygen saturation was higher and pulse rate lower in those who were ambulated. Re-admission rate did not differ between ambulated and admitted patients. 

Two-thirds of patients with intermediate-to-high risk PE were ambulated and their mortality rate remained low. It is possible for selected patients with intermediate-to-high risk PESI scores to be safely ambulated.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalERJ Open Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

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