Outpatient Anticoagulant Therapy Benefits PE Patients

Certain patients with PE may be treated effectively with anticoagulants out of the hospital

FRIDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Outpatient treatment with anticoagulants may be effective and safe for patients with pulmonary embolism (PE) who are selected based on predefined criteria, according to a study published online June 4 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Wendy Zondag, M.D., from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues investigated the efficacy and safety of outpatient anticoagulant treatment for patients with PE. A total of 297 patients with objectively proven acute PE were triaged with predefined criteria for eligibility for outpatient treatment. Patients were treated with nadroparin, a low molecular weight heparin, followed by vitamin K antagonists. Eligible patients were sent home either immediately or within 24 hours of PE diagnosis, and they were evaluated after three months for recurrent venous thromboembolism (RVE), including PE or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), major hemorrhage, and mortality.

The investigators identified six patients with RVE (five cases of PE and one of DVT). During the follow-up period, three patients died, none of them due to PE. Major bleeding events were seen in two patients, including one case of fatal intracranial bleeding.

"Outpatient treatment of acute PE may be effective and safe in patients selected with the predefined and easy-to-perform criteria, based on the observed low recurrence, mortality, and bleeding rates," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry, including GlaxoSmithKline, which partially funded the study.

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