[Diagnosis and management of acute pulmonary embolism. ESC guidelines 2014]

J A Saar, C Maack
Herz 2015, 40 (8): 1048-54
Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) still represents a challenge regarding a rapid diagnosis and a risk-adapted therapy. In the 2014 guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) on the diagnosis and management of acute PE, several new recommendations have been issued based on new study data. Some established scores for risk stratification were developed further and there is now good evidence for the use of age-adjusted D-dimer cut-off levels. For the risk stratification in patients without clinical features of shock, the utilization of the pulmonary embolism severity index (PESI) and simplified PESI (sPESI) scores is recommended. In patients with intermediate risk, right ventricular morphology and function can be evaluated by computer tomography or echocardiography and biomarkers facilitate further risk stratification. For the treatment of patients with venous thromboembolism with or without PE, the non-vitamin K-dependent oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are a safe alternative to the standard anticoagulation regimen with heparin and vitamin K antagonists. Systemic thrombolytic therapy should be restricted to patients with high risk or intermediate high risk with hemodynamic instability. Finally, new recommendations for the diagnosis and therapy of patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), with cancer or during pregnancy are given.


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