Saturday, October 31, 2015

Q: In  acute decompensated pulmonary embolism (PE), how long does it take to see improvement of right ventricular (RV) function after receiving thrombolytic therapy?

Answer: About 12 hours

Patients who receives successful thrombolytic therapy usually finds improved RV function within 12 hours. In contrast, as expected patients treated only with anticoagulation may take up to one week to see improved RV function.


1. Konstantinides S, Tiede N, Geibel A, et al. Comparison of alteplase versus heparin for resolution of major pulmonary embolism. Am J Cardiol 1998; 82:966. 

2. Sharma GV, Burleson VA, Sasahara AA. Effect of thrombolytic therapy on pulmonary-capillary blood volume in patients with pulmonary embolism. N Engl J Med 1980; 303:842. 

3. Come PC. Echocardiographic evaluation of pulmonary embolism and its response to therapeutic interventions. Chest 1992; 101:151S.

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