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Review: no evidence exists that thrombolysis is better than heparin for reducing the risk of recurrent pulmonary embolism and death

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Q In patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE), is initial thrombolysis more effective than heparin for reducing the risk of recurrent PE and death?


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline and EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1980 to January 2003), Cochrane Library (Issue 1, 2003); and hand searches of reference lists of retrieved articles and abstracts of conference proceedings.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

published and unpublished randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with proper randomisation that compared thrombolysis with heparin for initial treatment of patients with objectively diagnosed symptomatic PE, and used objective methods to assess clinical outcomes. 2 independent reviewers …

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  • For correspondence: Dr J W Eikelboom, McMaster Clinic, Hamilton General Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

  • Source of funding: no external funding.