Of 458 patients treated with anticoagulants after an initial pulmonary embolism, 92% survived as compared to 42% of the patients in whom anticoagulants were withheld because of medical contraindications. Anticoagulation also lowered the incidence of recurrent pulmonary embolisms from 47% to 8%. Furthermore, the mortality among patients developing recurrent pulmonary embolisms was reduced from 55% to 16%. These figures suggest that the indications for anticoagulation should be extended to some patients hitherto considered to have borderline indications. Fifty-seven patients had inferior vena cava ligation. There was one postoperative death, and only three patients developed recurrent pulmonary embolisms.
Erich W. Pollak, Frank C. Sparks, Wiley F. Barker. Pulmonary EmbolismAn Appraisal of Therapy in 516 Cases. Arch Surg. 1973;107(1):66–68. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350190054014