In the study by Barritt and Jordan,2–
5 of 19 untreated patients died, which equates to 26% mortality, and it is unsure where the 38% quoted comes from. In addition, last year, an audit of the autopsy records of the participants enrolled in this landmark trial was conducted in order to ascertain the findings at death, as the original report was incomplete and has therefore been criticized.3
The findings are shown in Table 1
. The audit, conducted within the Department of Pathology at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, illustrate two observations about the participants enrolled in the trial by Barritt and Jordan,2
and who died with untreated PE: (1) coincidental morbidity and infection was likely to be contributory to their demise, and (2) a large amount of residual thrombus or clot burden was found both in the lung and in other venous sites with potential to embolize to the lung.