Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) refers to a condition characterized by the blockage of a pulmonary artery, resulting in a blood clot in parts of the body. If not managed properly, acute PE is associated with significant mortality and morbidity rates. Surgical management of acute PE is deemed safe and effective, but its actual outcomes are not well documented. This study aims to evaluate the safety and efficacy of surgical treatments of acute PE.

This study included a total of 136 patients with acute PE (submassive PE: 92, missive PE: 44. The participants underwent surgical embolectomy and/or venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The primary outcome of the study was the overall survival rate, along with the improvement in PE symptoms, like central venous pressure, pulmonary artery systolic pressure, and RV fractional area change.

Patients with submassive PE were treated with embolectomy, whereas patients with massive PE were assigned to ECMO. The RV function, as measured by central venous pressure, pulmonary artery systolic pressure, and fractional area change, improved in both groups. The overall mortality rate was 4.4%.

The research concluded that in patients with acute massive or submassive PE, surgical treatments like surgical embolectomy and ECMO were safe and highly effective in improving survival and RV function.