Significance of Syncope at Presentation among Patients With Pulmonary Emboli

Sharon Shalom Natanzon*, Shlomi Matetzky, Fernando Chernomordik, Israel Mazin, Romana Herscovici, Orly Goitein, Sagit Ben-Zekry, Nir Shlomo, Avishay Grupper, Roy Beigel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with intermediate-risk pulmonary emboli (PE) present a challenging clinical problem. Although syncope has been suggested as a marker for adverse outcomes in these patients, data remain scarce. We aimed to investigate the clinical outcomes of intermediate risk PE patients presenting with syncope. We performed a retrospective cohort study comprised of consecutive, normotensive, PE patients, with evidence of right ventricular involvement. The primary outcome of major adverse clinical events included either one or a combination of mechanical ventilation, hemodynamic instability and need for inotropic support, reperfusion therapy, and in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included each of the above individual components including major bleeding and renal failure. Overall, 212 patients were evaluated, 40 (19%) presented with syncope, and had a higher prevalence of major adverse clinical events (29% vs 9.4%, p = 0.003), as well as each of the individual secondary end points: mechanical ventilation (10% vs 1.8%, p = 0.026), hemodynamic instability (18% vs 2.9%, p = 0.02), increased need of inotropic support (10% vs 0.6%, p = 0.005), and bleeding (15% vs 2.4%, p = 0.004). The prevalence of in-hospital mortality was very low (0.5%) with no significant difference between those with and without syncope. There was no significant difference in the need for reperfusion therapy. Upon multivariable analysis, syncope was found to be an independent predictor of adverse clinical outcomes (odds ratio 3.8, confidence interval 1.48 to 9.76, p = 0.005). In conclusion, in intermediate-risk PE patients with right ventricular involvement, the presence of syncope is associated with a more complicated in-hospital course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)982-987
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2020


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