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Chest. 1996 Aug;110(2):392-4.

Can pulmonary angiography be limited to the most suspicious side if the contralateral side appears normal on the ventilation/perfusion lung scan? Data from PIOPED. Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis.

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  • 1Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the frequency of pulmonary embolism (PE) in a single lung that showed a normal ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) lung scan when the V/Q scan on the contralateral side was interpreted as non-high-probability for PE.

METHODS:

Data are from the national collaborative study Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis (PIOPED). PE was diagnosed or excluded in all lungs by pulmonary angiography.

RESULTS:

Single lungs with no V/Q abnormalities, when the V/Q scan on the contralateral side was interpreted as non-high-probability for PE, showed PE in 2 of 19 (11%) (95% confidence interval [CI], 1 to 33%). If PE was excluded by angiography on the side of the abnormal V/Q scan, then PE on the side of the normal V/Q scan was shown in only 1 of 19 (5%) (95% CI, 0 to 26%).

CONCLUSION:

A normal V/Q scan in a single lung, when the contralateral lung was interpreted as non-high-probability for PE, did not completely exclude PE on the apparently normal side. In such lungs, the probability of PE was in the range of low-probability interpretations. If the pulmonary angiogram showed no PE on the side of the abnormal V/Q scan, the probability of PE on the side of the normal V/Q scan satisfied the definition of very low probability for PE. This observation in patients undergoing pulmonary angiography may assist in determining whether the pulmonary angiogram should be bilateral.

PMID:
8697839
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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