• Vol. 39 No. 6, 442–447
  • 15 June 2010

Central Clot Score at Computed Tomography as a Predictor of 30-day Mortality after Acute Pulmonary Embolism



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Introduction: The severity of acute pulmonary embolism can be assessed with computed tomography (CT) using clot burden estimation. We compared the existing CT obstruction scores with an in-house developed central clot score for the prediction of 30-day pulmonary embolism (PE)-related mortality.

Materials and Methods: In 125 consecutive patients [47 men, 78 women; mean age ± standard deviation (SD, 60.4 years ± 16.6] with acute PE, 2 readers in consensus assessed the severity of PE with 2 existing clot scoring systems (Mastora and Qanadli) and central clot score. The right ventricular dysfunction was assessed by right ventricular diameter (RVD), left ventricular diameter (LVD), ventricular ratio (VR) and septal deviation. Univariate and multivariate regression analysis were performed to correlate these parameters and 30-day PE-related mortality.

Results: Ten patients (8%) died of PE within 30 days following CT and 115 patients did not have PE-related death outcome. There was a significant difference in all 3 clot scores, LVD and VR between patients with 30-day PE-related death and those without (P ≤0.001-0.02). Univariate regression analysis showed that all three clot scores and LVD were predictors of PE death, however with multivariate analysis, only central clot score showed significant correlation with 30-day PE death [Odds ratio (OR), 1.1; 96% CI, 1-1.16; P <0.003]. A central clot index of 53% had 100% sensitivity, 76.5% specificity, 23.5% positive predictive value and 98% negative predictive value for 30-day PE death.

Conclusion: Central clot score is a strong predictor of 30-day PE death and may therefore allow therapy and risk stratification in patients with acute PE.

Multi-detector Computed Tomography (MDCT) pulmonary angiography is currently the method of choice for the detection of acute pulmonary embolism (PE), because of its convenience, speed, sensitivity, direct clot visualisation and ability to provide alternative diagnoses that mimic PE clinically.

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