Published: 31 August 2021

Authors: Ana Jaureguízar, MD David Jiménez, MD, PhD Behnood Bikdeli, MD Gili Kenet, MD Manuel Monreal, MD, PhD

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 202


    The association between heart rate (HR) and pulmonary embolism (PE) outcomes has not been well studied. Furthermore, optimal cutoffs to identify low-risk and intermediate- to high-risk patients are not well known.

    Research Question

    Does an association exist between baseline HR and PE outcome across the continuum of HR values?

    Study Design and Methods

    The current study included 44,331 consecutive nonhypotensive patients with symptomatic PE from the Registro Informatizado de la Enfermedad TromboEmbólica registry between 2001 and 2021. Outcomes included 30-day all-cause and PE-specific mortality. We used hierarchical logistic regression to assess the association between admission HR and outcomes.


    A positive relationship was found between admission HR and 30-day all-cause and PE-related mortality. Considering an HR of 80 to 99 beats/min as a reference, patients in the higher HR strata showed higher rates of all-cause death (adjusted OR, 1.5 for HR of 100-109 beats/min; adjusted OR, 1.7 for HR of 110-119 beats/min; adjusted OR, 1.9 for HR of 120-139 beats/min; and adjusted OR, 2.4 for HR of ≥ 140 beats/min). Patients in the lower strata of HR showed significantly lower rates of 30-day all-cause mortality compared with the same reference group (adjusted OR, 0.6 for HR of 60-79 beats/min; and adjusted OR, 0.5 for HR of < 60 beats/min). The findings for 30-day PE-related mortality were similar. For identification of low-risk patients, a cutoff value of 80 beats/min (vs 110 beats/min) increased the sensitivity of the simplified Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index (sPESI) from 93.4% to 98.8%. For identification of intermediate- to high-risk patients, a cutoff value of 140 beats/min (vs 110 beats/min) increased the specificity of the Bova score from 93.2% to 98.0%.


    In nonhypotensive patients with acute symptomatic PE, a high HR portends an increased risk of all-cause and PE-related mortality. Modifying the HR cutoff in the sPESI and the Bova score improves prognostication of patients with PE.

    Link to article

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