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Acute Med. 2016;15(2):58-62.

Investigating for pulmonary embolism in pregnancy: Five year retrospective review of referrals to the acute medical unit of a large teaching hospital.

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Consultant Acute Physician, West Suffolk Hospital, Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 2QZ.
Consultant Acute Physician and Endocrinologist, James Paget University, Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
MBBS, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Anaesthetics SpR. MBBS, FRCA. West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.


This was a retrospective review of five years' data relating to patients referred to the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) of a large teaching hospital with suspected Pulmonary Embolism (PE) during pregnancy or 6 weeks postpartum. During this period, 210 patients in this group underwent half-dose perfusion scanning as investigation for possible PE and were managed via our ambulatory pathway. Pulmonary embolism was diagnosed in 5.2% of patients compared to 18% of non-pregnant patients identified in a previous audit. Half-dose Q scanning enabled exclusion of PE in almost 90% of patients without the need for further imaging. A new local pathway for the investigation and management of PE during pregnancy has now been developed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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