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This article is the author's final published version in American Heart Journal, Volume 266, 2023, Pages 128 - 137.

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Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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BACKGROUND: The identification of hemodynamically stable pulmonary embolism (PE) patients who may benefit from advanced treatment beyond anticoagulation is unclear. However, when intervention is deemed necessary by the PE patient's care team, data to select the most advantageous interventional treatment option are lacking. Limiting factors include major bleeding risks with systemic and locally delivered thrombolytics and the overall lack of randomized controlled trial (RCT) data for interventional treatment strategies. Considering the expansion of the pulmonary embolism response team (PERT) model, corresponding rise in interventional treatment, and number of thrombolytic and nonthrombolytic catheter-directed devices coming to market, robust evidence is needed to identify the safest and most effective interventional option for patients.

METHODS: The PEERLESS study ( identifier: NCT05111613) is a currently enrolling multinational RCT comparing large-bore mechanical thrombectomy (MT) with the FlowTriever System (Inari Medical, Irvine, CA) vs catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT). A total of 550 hemodynamically stable PE patients with right ventricular (RV) dysfunction and additional clinical risk factors will undergo 1:1 randomization. Up to 150 additional patients with absolute thrombolytic contraindications may be enrolled into a nonrandomized MT cohort for separate analysis. The primary end point will be assessed at hospital discharge or 7 days post procedure, whichever is sooner, and is a composite of the following clinical outcomes constructed as a hierarchal win ratio: (1) all-cause mortality, (2) intracranial hemorrhage, (3) major bleeding, (4) clinical deterioration and/or escalation to bailout, and (5) intensive care unit admission and length of stay. The first 4 components of the win ratio will be adjudicated by a Clinical Events Committee, and all components will be assessed individually as secondary end points. Other key secondary end points include all-cause mortality and readmission within 30 days of procedure and device- and drug-related serious adverse events through the 30-day visit.

IMPLICATIONS: PEERLESS is the first RCT to compare 2 different interventional treatment strategies for hemodynamically stable PE and results will inform strategy selection after the physician or PERT determines advanced therapy is warranted.

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