Pulmonary embolism

Common Name(s)

Pulmonary embolism, Pulmonary thromboembolism

Pulmonary embolism is the blockage of an artery in the lungs. This condition is often caused when a blood clot develops in a vein in the leg, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A pulmonary embolism develops if the DVT blood clot breaks free, travels to the lungs, and causes restricted blood flow. To help prevent any permanent lung damage or possible death, a pulmonary embolism needs to be treated by a medical professional immediately.

While rare mild cases may show no symptoms, an affected individual usually experiences a very sudden onset of difficult or fast breathing and severe chest pain. Other common symptoms may include a fast or irregular heartbeat, coughing up blood, and having pain/swelling in the calves or thighs. Sometimes, the clot can dissolve on its own, but serious complications like cardiac arrest and heart failure may result.

Some symptoms of a pulmonary embolism can be very similar to the symptoms of other conditions like a heart attack, asthma, panic attack or pneumonia. To distinguish from these other conditions and to confirm a diagnosis, a doctor may use a variety of tests which include imaging exams, blood tests, and performing an EKG (electrocardiogram) to look at how the heart is beating. Treatment options focus on decreasing the size of blockage, and preventing future embolisms from forming.

Factors that increase your risk for developing a pulmonary embolism may include increasing age, obesity, inherited blood clotting disorders, having a sedentary lifestyle, and extended periods of bed rest after major surgery. The chance of developing this condition can be greatly decreased with lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, increasing physical activity, and not sitting or lying in the same position for too long. If you believe you are experiencing a pulmonary embolism, contact your doctor immediately to discuss the most current prevention and treatment options.

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Pulmonary embolism" for support, advocacy or research.

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Pulmonary embolism" returned 1838 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Neck-to-shoulder pain as an unusual presentation of pulmonary embolism in a patient with cervical spinal cord injury: A case report.
 

Author(s): Dong Gyu Lee, Min Cheol Chang

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Oct;96(42):e8288.

 

Information on referred pain can be helpful for diagnosing diseases of the visceral organs. Here, the authors report a patient with cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) who had referred pain at the right side from the neck to shoulder, as a presentation of pulmonary embolism (PE).

Last Updated: 19 Oct 2017

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Benefit of early discharge among patients with low-risk pulmonary embolism.
 

Author(s): Li Wang, Onur Baser, Phil Wells, W Frank Peacock, Craig I Coleman, Gregory J Fermann, Jeff Schein, Concetta Crivera

Journal:

 

Clinical guidelines recommend early discharge of patients with low-risk pulmonary embolism (LRPE). This study measured the overall impact of early discharge of LRPE patients on clinical outcomes and costs in the Veterans Health Administration population. Adult patients with ≥1 inpatient ...

Last Updated: 10 Oct 2017

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Predictive value of insufficient contrast medium filling in pulmonary veins in patients with acute pulmonary embolism.
 

Author(s): Hong Zhang, Yanhe Ma, Zhenchun Song, Jun Lv, Yapeng Yang

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Sep;96(37):e7926.

 

This study is to investigate the predictive value of insufficient contrast medium filling (ICMF) in patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE).A total of 108 PE patients were enrolled and divided into group A and group B according to the presence of ICMF. PE index and ventricul araxial ...

Last Updated: 14 Sep 2017

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Pulmonary embolism" returned 209 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Diagnostic value of PET/CT for giant cell arteritis combined with pulmonary embolism presenting: Case report and literature review.
 

Author(s): Xiaoming Shu, Xiaoxiang Xu, Qinglin Peng, Xin Lu, Li Ma, Na Mi, Guochun Wang

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Aug;96(31):e7651.

 

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) combined with concomitant pulmonary embolism (PE) is extremely difficult to diagnose because of its low incidence and atypical clinical presentations.

Last Updated: 2 Aug 2017

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Interventional Therapy for Pulmonary Embolism.
 

Author(s): Alan B Lumsden, Erik Suarez

Journal: Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. ;12(4):219-224.

 

Patients with pulmonary embolism (PE) present with highly variable clinical symptoms and often have accompanying comorbidities. Timely diagnosis and treatment are critical to help prevent recurrence and increased morbidity/mortality. While open surgical thrombectomy was once reserved ...

Last Updated: 14 Mar 2017

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Bilateral Pulmonary Embolism Following a Viper Envenomation in France: A Case Report and Review.
 

Author(s): Géraldine Bart, Samuel Pineau, Charlotte Biron, Jérôme Connault, Mathieu Artifoni

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 May;95(19):e2798.

 

Complications following snake bites are not common in France. We report the case of a bilateral pulmonary embolism following a viper envenomation in France.A healthy 72-year-old female presented with a lower limb hematoma following a viper bite. She was admitted at the hospital 2 ...

Last Updated: 14 May 2016

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Efficacy and Safety of Half Dose Alteplase Added to Heparine, in Patients With Moderate Pulmonary Embolism
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Pulmonary Embolism

 

Last Updated: 13 Nov 2015

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Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of the Indigo Aspiration System in Acute Submassive Pulmonary Embolism
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Pulmonary Embolism

 

Last Updated: 24 Aug 2017

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Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism by Doppler Signals
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Pulmonary Embolism

 

Last Updated: 27 Jul 2017

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