Pulmonary embolism: Current and new treatment options

Robert J. Walter*, Lisa K. Moores, David Jiménez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Pulmonary embolism (PE) can be a life-threatening emergency. Accurate diagnostic techniques and patient-specific management strategies are necessary to ensure favorable clinical outcomes. Methods: Relevant guidelines, articles, reviews, and abstracts were identified using a narrative approach in PubMed/MEDLINE, Google Scholar, clinicaltrials.gov and nice.org.uk. English-language articles published in 2000-2014 were initially identified using the search terms: novel OAC, pulmonary embolism, venous thromboembolism, diagnosis, treatment, rivaroxaban, apixaban, dabigatran, and edoxaban. The initial literature search was supported by a 'snowballing' style literature search, and relevant articles were included based on a professional judgment of relevance. Scope: We discuss the diagnosis of PE and the categorization of risk for subgroups, which may assist with making treatment decisions. We review current guidance on acute and long-term treatment, possible limitations of traditional anticoagulant therapy, and the development of direct oral anticoagulants, which may significantly alter the management of patients with PE. Finally, we discuss special considerations in high-risk and hard-to-treat subpopulations that may benefit from the improved benefit-risk profile offered by these newer agents. Conclusions: The direct oral anticoagulants may overcome several of the limitations associated with traditional anticoagulant therapy, potentially improving the standard of care for PE patients, including high-risk and hard-to-manage subgroups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1975-1989
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticoagulation
  • Diagnosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Treatment


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