A short-cut review was carried out to establish whether thrombolysis in addition to therapeutic anticoagulation could be of benefit in submassive (intermediate risk) pulmonary embolism (PE). 64 directly relevant papers were found using the reported search strategy. Of these, three presented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these best papers are tabulated. It is concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support the routine use of adjuvant thrombolytic therapy at any dose for patients with submassive PE. Carefully selected patients with a low bleeding risk who attribute high importance to functional outcome may stand to benefit.
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