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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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 1920 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Trends in the use of echocardiography in pulmonary embolism.
 

Author(s): Brijesh Patel, Mahek Shah, Lohit Garg, Manyoo Agarwal, Matthew Martinez, Raman Dusaj

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Aug;97(35):e12104.

 

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a devastating diagnosis which carries a high mortality risk. Echocardiography is often performed to risk stratify patients diagnosed with PE, and guide management strategies. Trends in the performance of echocardiography among patients with PE and its role ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Impella RP Support and Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis to Treat Right Ventricular Failure Caused by Pulmonary Embolism in 2 Patients.
 

Author(s): Mohamed Shokr, Ahmed Rashed, Ashraf Mostafa, Tamam Mohamad, Theodore Schreiber, Mahir Elder, Amir Kaki

Journal:

 

Right ventricular failure secondary to pulmonary embolism is associated with morbidity and death. The Impella RP System has often been used for percutaneous mechanical circulatory support in patients with right ventricular failure from other causes, including myocardial infarction, ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Nephrotic syndrome with acute pulmonary embolism in young adults: Two case reports.
 

Author(s): Zikai Song, Haidi Wu, Hongyan Cao, Minglong Tang, Shuo Yang, Ling Qin

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Jul;97(29):e11495.

 

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is often misdiagnosed, or the diagnosis is delayed because of its diverse clinical manifestations, it may even remain asymptomatic until sudden death. Most risk factors are not associated with young people, and there is a paucity of literature regarding PE ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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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 220 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

[Acute pulmonary embolism : about paradox, judgments and evidences].
 

Author(s): A Ancion, R Lopez, V D'Orio, A Ghuysen, R Zandona

Journal: Rev Med Liege. 2018 May;73(5-6):319-325.

 

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is the third most common cardiovascular disease in industrialized countries. Multiple clinical presentations and non-specific symptoms lead to frequents misdiagnosis. Using and plan therapeutic and admission versus discharge strategies.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Global incidence and case fatality rate of pulmonary embolism following major surgery: a protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies.
 

Author(s): Mazou N Temgoua, Joel Noutakdie Tochie, Jean Jacques Noubiap, Valirie Ndip Agbor, Celestin Danwang, Francky Teddy A Endomba, Njinkeng J Nkemngu

Journal:

 

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a life-threatening condition common after major surgery. Although the high incidence (0.3-30%) and mortality rate (16.9-31%) of PE in patients undergoing major surgical procedures is apparent from findings of contemporary observational studies, there is ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Pulmonary embolism An update.
 

Author(s): Steven Doherty

Journal: Aust Fam Physician. 2017 Nov;46(11):816-820.

 

Pulmonary embolism is a common condition and can be the source of significant morbidity and mortality.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

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

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Pulmonary Embolism

 

Last Updated: 22 Aug 2018

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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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Contemporary Clinical Management Of Acute Pulmonary Embolism
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Acute Pulmonary Embolism

 

Last Updated: 28 Aug 2018

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