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Chest. 1993 Nov;104(5):1461-7.

Stratification of patients according to prior cardiopulmonary disease and probability assessment based on the number of mismatched segmental equivalent perfusion defects. Approaches to strengthen the diagnostic value of ventilation/perfusion lung scans in acute pulmonary embolism.

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1
Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute, Detroit.

Abstract

A categorical diagnosis of "high probability" or "intermediate probability" encompasses a spectrum of diagnostic probabilities of pulmonary embolism (PE) that is not communicated to the referring physician. The diagnostic value of ventilation/perfusion lung scans, in the present investigation, was strengthened by use of a table to determine the likelihood of PE in individual patients on the basis of the observed number of mismatched segmental equivalent perfusion defects. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that stratification of patients according to the presence or absence of prior cardiopulmonary disease may enhance the ventilation/perfusion scan assessment of the probability of PE among both of these clinical categories of patients. Data were derived from the collaborative study of the Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis (PIOPED). Ventilation/perfusion lung scans were evaluated in 378 patients with acute PE and 672 patients in whom suspected PE was excluded. Among patients with no prior cardiopulmonary disease, > or = 1.0 mismatched segmental equivalents was indicative of PE in 102 of 118 (86 percent) vs 113 of 155 (73 percent) among patients with prior cardiopulmonary disease (p < 0.02). Among patients with prior cardiopulmonary disease, > or = 2 mismatched segmental equivalents were required to indicate > or = 80 percent probability of PE. Stratification on the basis of the presence or absence of prior cardiopulmonary disease, therefore, enhanced the ability of ventilation/perfusion scan readers to assign an accurate positive predictive value and specificity to individual patients based on the observed number of mismatched segmental equivalent defects. Among patients with no prior cardiopulmonary disease, fewer mismatched segmental equivalent defects were required to indicate a high probability of PE than were required by PIOPED criteria. The findings from some of these patients, by PIOPED criteria, would have indicated intermediate probability. Some indeterminate probability readings, therefore, will be eliminated among patients stratified with no prior cardiopulmonary disease.

PMID:
8222807
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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