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July 1973

Pulmonary EmbolismAn Appraisal of Therapy in 516 Cases

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Department of Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine; and the Sepulveda Veterans Administration Hospital, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1973;107(1):66-68. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350190054014

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.