Pulmonary embolism in elderly patients: Prognostic impact of the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS) on short-term mortality

Roberto Castelli, Paolo Bucciarelli, Fernando Porro, Federica Depetri, Massimo Cugno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Pulmonary embolism (PE) is associated with high short-term mortality in elderly patients, even when hemodynamically stable. Methods One hundred and seventy hemodynamically stable patients with confirmed PE (41 <65 years and 129 ≥ 65 years) were prospectively followed for one month in order to assess whether comorbidities can predict short-term mortality in elderly patients. Upon admission, patients' clinical characteristics (including instrumental and laboratory parameters) were evaluated, and two clinical scores were calculated: the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS), commonly used to evaluate comorbidities in elderly patients, and the Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index (PESI). Results Fifteen patients (all elderly) died within one month from their PE diagnosis (mortality rate = 8.8%; 95%CI:4.6-13.1%). In these non survivors, arterial partial oxygen pressure (p <0.0001) and saturation (p <0.0001), pH (p = 0.001) and systolic blood pressure (p = 0.017) at admission were significantly lower than in survivors, whereas their respiratory rate (p <0.0001), white blood cells (p <0.0001), lactate dehydrogenase (p <0.0001), troponin T (p = 0.001) and D-dimer (p = 0.023) were significantly higher. CIRS correlated with PESI (rho = 0.54, p <0.0001), and was higher in non-survivors (p = 0.002). The age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio of 1-month mortality was 1.91 (95%CI:1.24-2.95) for every 1-point increase in CIRS. The AUC was 0.78 (95%CI:0.67-0.89) for the logistic model containing CIRS, and 0.88 (95%CI:0.79-0.96) for that containing PESI (p = 0.059). Conclusions In elderly patients with PE, CIRS demonstrated a fairly good performance in predicting short-term mortality. Its easiness and suitability for use in common clinical practice make CIRS a potentially useful prognostic score for short-term mortality in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-330
Number of pages5
JournalThrombosis Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Age groups
  • Clinical probability
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Spiral computed tomography
  • Thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Medicine(all)

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