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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 12;8(6):e65669. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065669. Print 2013.

CT pulmonary angiography: increasingly diagnosing less severe pulmonary emboli.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, United States of America.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is unknown whether the observed increase in computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) utilization has resulted in increased detection of pulmonary emboli (PEs) with a less severe disease spectrum.

METHODS:

Trends in utilization, diagnostic yield, and disease severity were evaluated for 4,048 consecutive initial CTPAs performed in adult patients in the emergency department of a large urban academic medical center between 1/1/2004 and 10/31/2009. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) findings and peak serum troponin levels were evaluated to assess for the presence of PE-associated right ventricular (RV) abnormalities (dysfunction or dilatation) and myocardial injury, respectively. Statistical analyses were performed using multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS:

268 CTPAs (6.6%) were positive for acute PE, and 3,780 (93.4%) demonstrated either no PE or chronic PE. There was a significant increase in the likelihood of undergoing CTPA per year during the study period (odds ratio [OR] 1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.07, P<0.01). There was no significant change in the likelihood of having a CTPA diagnostic of an acute PE per year (OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.95-1.11, Pā€Š=ā€Š0.49). The likelihood of diagnosing a less severe PE on CTPA with no associated RV abnormalities or myocardial injury increased per year during the study period (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.10-1.75, Pā€Š=ā€Š0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

CTPA utilization has risen with no corresponding change in diagnostic yield, resulting in an increase in PE detection. There is a concurrent rise in the likelihood of diagnosing a less clinically severe spectrum of PEs.

PMID:
23776522
PMCID:
PMC3680477
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0065669
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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