Postpulmonary embolism syndrome

Kimberly D. Fabyan, Aaron B. Holley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewIt is now recognized that more than half of patients with acute pulmonary embolism (APE) will have persistent symptoms beyond 3 months after their initial event. Persistent symptoms are referred to as post-PE syndrome, an umbrella term that covers a spectrum of patient complaints and underlying pathologies. Data published over the last 5 years have added significantly to our understanding of this syndrome and its management.Recent findingsUnderlying pathologies linked to post-PE syndrome include chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), chronic thromboembolic disease (CTED), cardiac dysfunction, and deconditioning. Treatment for post-PE syndrome will depend on the underlying causative pathologies found. Evaluation and treatment for CTEPH is well defined, but less than 10% of patients with post-PE syndrome will qualify as having this diagnosis.SummaryA large percentage of patients will experience post-PE syndrome following APE. Strategies for identification and treatment for some pathologies are well studied, but the majority of patients will have subtle abnormalities on imaging and functional testing for which diagnostic criteria and management are not well defined. A number of active studies are designed to help optimize the management of post-PE syndrome and should help us improve intermediate and long-term outcomes for patients following APE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-341
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in pulmonary medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • chronic thromboembolic disease
  • chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension
  • postpulmonary embolism syndrome
  • pulmonary embolism


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