A filter used to block clots from passing from the veins in the legs to the arteries of the lung does not improve mortality rates for most patients suffering a pulmonary embolism. However, if a patient is unstable – in shock or requires a ventilator – filters can save lives.
Furthermore, for unstable patients with a pulmonary embolism, it is crucial they receive clot-dissolving medications known as thrombolytic therapy.
The findings come from a set of three research articles on pulmonary embolism treatment published by Michigan State University's Paul Stein in the May edition of the American Journal of Medicine. The findings are based on a study of more than two million patients suffering from the sometimes deadly clots that travel to the lungs and block arteries.
Stein said the studies provide clearer guidance on what treatments are most effective for patients, specifically in regard to vena cava filters and thrombolytic therapy.
"There has been an increase in the use of vena cava filters in the past several years for patients who arrive at a hospital suffering from a pulmonary embolism," said Stein, a professor in osteopathic medical specialties and also director of research at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Mich."But it appears the vast majority of filters that are placed in patients with pulmonary embolism may not reduce mortality."
"These studies provide strong evidence on when filters reduce mortality and when they will not," he said. "Only a small percentage of patients suffering from a pulmonary embolism are in shock or in need of ventilation support, and therefore only a small proportion need a filter."
Stein said for unstable patients it is vital that in addition to using a filter, they receive thrombolytic therapy, which is much less of a risk than the surgical removal of a clot known as an embolectomy.
"Only about a third of unstable patients receive thrombolytic therapy," he said. "The reason may be doctors are afraid that patients will suffer from excessive bleeding. But the data show thrombolytic therapy would save lives if used more frequently."
As for an embolectormy, Stein's team found that in most surgical centers, unless the clinicians are highly specialized and experienced, the mortality rate is high. In most hands, he said, thrombolytic therapy would save more lives.
The findings were from a nationwide government database, the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, and included data on more than two million patients who suffered a pulmonary embolism between 1999 and 2008.
Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.
Jason Cody | EurekAlert!
Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences