Heart Rate and Mortality in Patients With Acute Symptomatic Pulmonary Embolism

Registro Informatizado de la Enfermedad TromboEmbólica Investigators, Ana Jaureguízar, David Jiménez, Behnood Bikdeli, Pedro Ruiz-Artacho, Alfonso Muriel, Victor Tapson, Raquel López-Reyes, Beatriz Valero, Gili Kenet, Manuel Monreal, Andris Skride (Member of the Working Group)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: 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.

RESULTS: 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; OR, 1.7 for HR of 110-119 beats/min; OR, 1.9 for HR of 120-139 beats/min; and 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 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%.

INTERPRETATION: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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