The value of distinguishing patients with isolated subsegmental pulmonary embolism presenting to two tertiary hospitals in Australia: an observational study

Yogesh Sharma, Subodha Sumanadasa, Rashmi Shahi, Chris Horwood, Campbell Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Isolated-subsegmental-pulmonary-embolism (SSPE) is increasingly diagnosed with the use of computed-tomography-pulmonary-angiogram (CTPA). There remains clinical equipoise for management of SSPE with previous studies not accounting for frailty while determining clinical outcomes. Clinical outcomes among patients with isolated SSPE were compared with those with a more proximal PE after accounting for frailty and other risk-factors. This study included all patients with a positive CTPA for pulmonary embolism (PE) admitted between 2017 and 2021 to two Australian-tertiary-hospitals. Frailty was determined by use of the hospital-frailty-risk-score (HFRS). Competing-risk-analysis and Cox-proportional hazard models determined the cumulative-risk of VTE and mortality within 3 months and 1 year of index PE event after adjustment for frailty and other variables. Of 334 patients with positive CTPA for PE, 111 (33.2%) had isolated-SSPE. The mean (SD) age was 64.3 (17.7) years, 50.9% were males and 9.6% were frail. The risk of recurrent VTE within 3-months (0.9% vs. 1.8%, P = 0.458) and within 1-year of follow-up (2.7% vs. 6.3%, P = 0.126) did not differ significantly between patients with isolated SSPE and those with more proximal PE. After adjusted analyses, the cumulative-incidence of recurrent VTE was not different among patients with isolated SSPE within 1 year of index event [subdistribution-hazard-ratio (HR) 0.84, 95% CI 0.19 to 3.60]. Similarly, mortality within 1 year of index event was also not different between the two groups (aHR 1.72, 95% CI 0.92–3.23). The prevalence of SSPE was 33.2% and even after adjustment for frailty these patients had no different clinical outcomes than those with proximal PE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Frailty
  • Mortality
  • Recurrent venous thromboembolism
  • Subsegmental pulmonary embolism

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