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08.10.2019 | Original Article Open Access

Potential benefit of non-cardiac arrested thromboembolectomy of acute pulmonary embolism for the impaired right ventricular function

General Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Masaho Okada, Hirotaka Watanuki, Kayo Sugiyama, Yasuhiro Futamura, Katsuhiko Matsuyama
Wichtige Hinweise

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Acute pulmonary thromboembolism is a fatal condition with high mortality rate in patients with hemodynamic collapse. Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment after circulatory collapse due to pulmonary thromboembolism are important. Although catheter-directed therapy or surgical thromboembolectomy could be considered, the prognosis of such cases is poor.


We reviewed nine consecutive patients who underwent surgical intervention for acute pulmonary thromboembolism requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation from March 2010 to May 2017. The patients’ demographics, risk factors, operative and postoperative outcomes were retrospectively analyzed. All nine patients who experienced cardiopulmonary arrest or pulseless electrical activity had received cardiopulmonary resuscitation, including endotracheal intubation with cardiac massage. Computed tomography revealed massive pulmonary thromboembolism. Percutaneous cardiopulmonary support was initiated in six cases. Pulmonary thromboembolectomy was performed on a beating heart without aortic cross-clamping in all patients


The mean operation time was 251.9 ± 74.7 min. Among the six patients who received preoperative percutaneous cardiopulmonary support, three were able to wean off cardiopulmonary bypass during the surgery. The other three cases were able to wean off within 3 days postoperatively. The mean postoperative intubation time was 56.3 h. No mortality was observed. All patients were discharged with New York Heart Association functional class I without any neurological complications. No patients developed major and residual thrombi in the pulmonary artery upon postoperative computed tomography.


Pulmonary thromboembolectomy on a beating heart for acute pulmonary thromboembolism may be beneficial for minimizing right ventricular damage and improving clinical outcomes.

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