Scientific publications

The prognostic impact of additional intrathoracic findings in patients with cancer-related pulmonary embolism

Jul 10, 2017 | Magazine: Clinical & Translational Oncology

Jiménez-Fonseca P (1), Carmona-Bayonas A (2), Font C (3), Plasencia-Martínez J (4), Calvo-Temprano D (5), Otero R (6), Beato C (7), Biosca M (8), Sánchez M (9), Benegas M (9), Varona D (10), Faez L (11), Antonio M (12), de la Haba I (13), Madridano O (14), Solis MP (11), Ramchandani A (15), Castañón E (16), Marchena PJ (17), Martín M (14), de la Peña FA (2), Vicente V (2); EPIPHANY study investigators and the Asociación de Investigación de la Enfermedad Tromboembólica de la Región de Murcia.


To assess the prevalence and prognostic significance of additional intrathoracic findings (AIFs) in patients with cancer and pulmonary embolism (PE). AIFs were considered alterations other than the characteristic ones intrinsic to PE or changes in cardiovascular morphology.


Subjects have been taken from a Spanish national multidisciplinary and multicenter study of PE and cancer who were treated between 2004 and 2015. The endpoint was the appearance of serious complications or death within 15 days.


The registry contains 1024 eligible patients; 41% diagnosed by computed tomography pulmonary angiography versus 59% by non-angiographic CT. Serious complications occurred within 15 days in 18.9%, [95% confidence interval (CI), 16.6-21.4%] and 9.5% (95% CI 7.9-11.5%) died. At least one AIF was seen in 72.6%.

The most common AIFs were as follows: pulmonary nodules (30.9%), pleural effusion (30.2%), tumor progression (28.3%), atelectasis (19.0%), pulmonary infarct (15.2%), emphysema (13.4%), pulmonary lymphangitic carcinomatosis (4.5%), and pneumonia (6.1%). Patients with AIF exhibited a higher complication rate at 15 days: 21.9% versus 13.0%, odds ratio (OR) 1.8 (95% CI 1.2-2.8), P = 0.03, and 15-day mortality: 15.0% versus 7.3%, OR 1.9 (95% CI 1.1-3.2), P = 0.020.

Patients with pneumonia, pneumothorax, pulmonary edema, pulmonary nodules, tumor progression, pulmonary fibrosis, and pleural effusion showed an excess of adverse events.


Additional intrathoracic findings are highly prevalent and significantly impact prognosis in patients with PE and cancer, making them germane to the classification of this population.

CITATION  Clin Transl Oncol. 2017 Jul 10. doi: 10.1007/s12094-017-1713-3