Items in AFP with MESH term: Pulmonary Embolism
ACEP Releases Clinical Policy on Evaluation and Management of Pulmonary Embolism - Practice Guidelines
Suspected Pulmonary Embolism: Part I. Evidence-Based Clinical Assessment - Point-of-Care Guides
Suspected Pulmonary Embolism: Evidence-Based Diagnostic Testing - Point-of-Care Guides
ABSTRACT: Treatment goals for deep venous thrombosis include stopping clot propagation and preventing the recurrence of thrombus, the occurrence of pulmonary embolism, and the development of pulmonary hypertension, which can be a complication of multiple recurrent pulmonary emboli. About 30 percent of patients with deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism have a thrombophilia. An extensive evaluation is suggested in patients younger than 50 years with an idiopathic episode of deep venous thrombosis, patients with recurrent thrombosis, and patients with a family history of thromboembolism. Infusion of unfractionated heparin followed by oral administration of warfarin remains the mainstay of treatment for deep venous thrombosis. Subcutaneously administered low-molecular-weight (LMW) heparin is at least as effective as unfractionated heparin given in a continuous infusion. LMW heparin is the agent of choice for treating deep venous thrombosis in pregnant women and patients with cancer. Based on validated protocols, warfarin can be started at a dosage of 5 or 10 mg per day. The intensity and duration of warfarin therapy depends on the individual patient, but treatment of at least three months usually is required. Some patients with thrombophilias require lifetime anticoagulation. Treatment for pulmonary embolism is similar to that for deep venous thrombosis. Because of the risk of hypoxemia and hemodynamic instability, in-hospital management is advised. Unfractionated heparin commonly is used, although LMW heparin is safe and effective. Thrombolysis is used in patients with massive pulmonary embolism. Subcutaneous heparin, LMW heparin, and warfarin have been approved for use in surgical prophylaxis. Elastic compression stockings are useful in patients at lowest risk for thromboembolism. Intermittent pneumatic leg compression is a useful adjunct to anticoagulation and an alternative when anticoagulation is contraindicated.
ABSTRACT: The incidence of venous thromboembolic diseases is increasing as the U.S. population ages. At least one established risk factor is present in approximately 75 percent of patients who develop these diseases. Hospitalized patients and nursing home residents account for one half of all cases of deep venous thrombosis. A well-validated clinical prediction rule can be used for risk stratification of patients with suspected deep venous thrombosis. Used in combination with D-dimer or Doppler ultrasound tests, the prediction rule can reduce the need for contrast venography, as well as the likelihood of false-positive or false-negative test results. The inclusion of helical computed tomographic venography (i.e., a below-the-pelvis component) in pulmonary embolism protocols remains under evaluation. Specific combinations of a clinical prediction rule, ventilation-perfusion scanning, and D-dimer testing can rule out pulmonary embolism without an invasive or expensive investigation. A clinical prediction rule for pulmonary embolism is most helpful when it is used with subsequent evaluations such as ventilation-perfusion scanning, D-dimer testing, or computed tomography. Technologic advances are improving the resolution of helical computed tomography to allow detection of smaller emboli; however, further study is needed to provide definitive evidence supporting the role of this imaging technique in the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism. D-dimer testing is helpful clinically only when the result is negative. A negative D-dimer test can be used in combination with a clinical decision rule, ventilation-perfusion scanning, and/or helical computed tomography to lower the probability of pulmonary embolism to the point that aggressive treatment is not required. Evidence-based algorithms help guide the diagnosis of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Dyspnea and a Lung Opacity on Radiography - Photo Quiz
American Thoracic Society Develops Guidelines on Diagnosis of Venous Thromboembolism - Practice Guidelines
Acute Venous Thromboembolism: Diagnostic Guidelines - Editorials
Thromboembolism - Clinical Evidence Handbook
ABSTRACT: Approximately 1 percent of primary care office visits are for chest pain, and 1.5 percent of these patients will have unstable angina or acute myocardial infarction. The initial goal in patients presenting with chest pain is to determine if the patient needs to be referred for further testing to rule in or out acute coronary syndrome and myocardial infarction. The physician should consider patient characteristics and risk factors to help determine initial risk. Twelve-lead electrocardiography is typically the test of choice when looking for ST segment changes, new-onset left bundle branch block, presence of Q waves, and new-onset T wave inversions. For persons in whom the suspicion for ischemia is lower, other diagnoses to consider include chest wall pain/costochondritis (localized pain reproducible by palpation), gastroesophageal reflux disease (burning retrosternal pain, acid regurgitation, and a sour or bitter taste in the mouth), and panic disorder/anxiety state. Other less common but important diagnostic considerations include pneumonia (fever, egophony, and dullness to percussion), heart failure, pulmonary embolism (consider using the Wells criteria), acute pericarditis, and acute thoracic aortic dissection (acute chest or back pain with a pulse differential in the upper extremities). Persons with a higher likelihood of acute coronary syndrome should be referred to the emergency department or hospital.