Assessing PERT Integration: A European Survey on Pulmonary Embolism Response Teams

Lukas Hobohm (Mainz)1, K. Keller (Mainz)2, I. T. Farmakis (Mainz)3, T. Tichelbäcker (Köln)4, I. Sagoschen (Mainz)1, T. Gori (Mainz)1, P. Lurz (Mainz)2, S. Konstantinides (Mainz)3, I. Ahrens (Köln)5

1Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Zentrum für Kardiologie Mainz, Deutschland; 2Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Kardiologie 1, Zentrum für Kardiologie Mainz, Deutschland; 3Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Centrum für Thrombose und Hämostase Mainz, Deutschland; 4Universitätsklinikum Köln Klinik III für Kardiologie, Angiologie, Pneumologie und Internistische Intensivmedizin Köln, Deutschland; 5Krankenhaus der Augustinerinnen, Akademisches Lehrkrankenhaus Klinik für Kardiologie und internistische Intensivmedizin Köln, Deutschland



In recent years, the establishment of multidisciplinary pulmonary embolism response teams (PERTs) has become more prevalent in response to the growing challenges in managing acute pulmonary embolism (PE). A survey was conducted to assess the availability and structure of PERTs in selected European PE reference centers.


A survey was circulated among leading European PE centers to obtain data on their current PE treatments, the existence and features of PERTs, their activation methods, and their structural organization. Additionally, data regarding PE treatment priority relative to acute coronary syndrome and the availability of outpatient PE follow-up programs was collected.


Overall, 26 selected reference centers for PE from 13 European countries participated at this survey and in more than four fifth (80.8%) of the centers PERT is already implemented. Although 76.9% of the centers handle over 40 PE cases annually, less than half (42.8%) of their PE cases are discussed in a PERT meeting. Figure 1A illustrates the risk classifications for which PERTs are typically consulted. The most common method of activating PERTs is through phone calls (47.6%), followed by mobile apps (38.1%) and pagers (4.8%).  In almost 60% PERT is leading from the Department of Cardiology followed by Pulmonology (18.2%), Critical Care Medicine (9.1%), General Internal Medicine (4.6%), Angiology (4.6%) and Radiology (4.6%) (Figure 1B and 1C). Regarding advanced treatment the majority of European expert centers for PE offers catheter-directed thrombolysis (78.3%) and catheter-based thrombectomy (78.3%) and the opportunity of surgical embolectomy (65.2%). Notably, over 46% of centers prioritize ST-elevation infarction over high-risk PE (Figure 1D). The follow-up of patients with PE is organized in 34.6% in a dedicated PE clinic, in 23.1%in the clinic of the physician leading PERT and in 7.7% no PE follow-up is available.


The findings confirm the widespread adoption of PERTs in European PE reference centers. However, there is a discernible trend of prioritizing myocardial infarction over PE with hemodynamic instability, even when mortality rates are comparable for high-risk PE cases. This emphasizes the pressing need for awareness campaigns to enlighten physicians about the significant mortality rates linked with unstable PE, aiming for enhanced management and intervention for this thrombotic disease.

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