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Curr Probl Cardiol. 2005 Feb;30(2):61-114.

Acute pulmonary embolism: an update on diagnosis and management.

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Cardiovascular Division, The Oregon Clinic in Portland, USA.


Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a common problem. Given the significant overlap of symptoms and signs between the presentation of PE and acute coronary syndromes, it becomes clear that cardiologists must be familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of PE. The critical issue is always to consider PE in the diagnosis of chest pain. It is then important to determine the likelihood of the diagnosis. For patients at moderate-to-high risk, helical CT provides a rapid and noninvasive diagnostic tool. Several other imaging studies are also available including ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) scan, magnetic resonance imaging, and pulmonary arteriography. Echocardiography can also provide valuable prognostic information. Several biomarkers including the d-dimers, troponins, and natriuretic peptides may provide additional information. The cornerstone of treatment includes anticoagulation. For patients with massive or submassive PE, thrombolysis and embolectomy should be considered. Finally, both primary and secondary prevention are critical to the long-term health of the patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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