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 1950 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Pulmonary embolism presenting with itinerant chest pain and migratory pleural effusion: A case report.
 

Author(s): Wei Li, Chen Chen, Mo Chen, Tong Xin, Peng Gao

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Jun;97(22):e10944.

 

Pulmonary embolism (PE) presents with complex clinical manifestations ranging from asymptomatic to chest pain, hemoptysis, syncope, shock, or sudden death. To the authors' knowledge, itinerant chest pain has not been reported as sign or symptom of PE.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Comments on "Knowledge Translation of the PERC Rule for Suspected Pulmonary Embolism: A Blueprint for Reducing the Number of CT Pulmonary Angiograms".
 

Author(s): Jeffrey Dubin, Matthew Wilson, William Frohna

Journal: West J Emerg Med. 2018 05;19(3):474.

 

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Recurrent pulmonary embolism associated with deep venous thrombosis diagnosed as protein s deficiency owing to a novel mutation in PROS1: A case report.
 

Author(s): Xiaojie Huang, Fangfang Xu, Carmel Rebecca Assa, Laigen Shen, Bing Chen, Zhenjie Liu

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 May;97(19):e0714.

 

Protein S (PS) deficiency that can be inherited or acquired is an independent risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE).

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

Pulmonary tumor embolism secondary to soft tissue and bone sarcomas: a case report and literature review.
 

Author(s): Nicholas Latchana, Vincent C Daniel, Robert W Gould, Raphael E Pollock

Journal:

 

Tumor embolisms (TE) are an underappreciated source of pulmonary embolisms in sarcoma. Most evidence in the literature is limited to case reports and none have described the presence of TE secondary to myxofibrosarcoma. We report the first case of myxofibrosarcoma TE and perform a ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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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: 31 Dec 1969

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Prothrombotic Fibrin Clot Phenotype in Patients with Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism: A New Risk Factor for Recurrence.
 

Author(s): Anetta Undas

Journal: Biomed Res Int. 2017 ;2017():8196256.

 

Prothrombotic fibrin clot phenotype, involving faster formation of dense meshwork composed of thinner and highly branched fibers that are relatively resistant to plasmin-induced lysis, has been reported in patients with not only myocardial infarction or stroke, but also venous thromboembolism ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Last Updated: 26 Mar 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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Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism by Doppler Signals
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Pulmonary Embolism

 

Last Updated: 4 Feb 2018

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