• Acute cardiovascular collapse in the hospitalized patient is associated with a high mortality rate and remains a therapeutic dilemma. Survival could be improved in the subgroup of patients with massive pulmonary thromboembolism if prompt surgical intervention is undertaken. This report presents the cases of two patients with cardiovascular collapse who survived transvenous catheter pulmonary embolectomy (herein described in detail). This procedure can be performed in any hospital with angiographic facilities and personnel trained in the technique. In our opinion it is the procedure of choice in patients with refractory cardiovascular collapse from massive pulmonary thromboembolism.
(Arch Surg 1985;120:1372-1375)