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 1862 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Multiple cardiac arrests induced by pulmonary embolism in a traumatically injured patient: A case report and review of the literature.
 

Author(s): Shu-Qing Sun, Ke-Peng Li, Jianming Zhi

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Dec;96(49):e9016.

 

Pulmonary embolism-induced cardiac arrest should not be given up arbitrarily, knowing that the etiology of pulmonary embolism is reversible in most cases.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Accuracy and reproducibility of CT right-to-left ventricular diameter measurement in patients with acute pulmonary embolism.
 

Author(s): Yvonne M Ende-Verhaar, Lucia J M Kroft, Inge C M Mos, Menno V Huisman, Frederikus A Klok

Journal:

 

Right ventricular (RV) dysfunction caused by acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is associated with poor short- and long-term prognosis. RV dilatation as a proxy for RV dysfunction can be assessed by calculating the right-to-left ventricle diameter (RV/LV) ratio on standard computed tomography ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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[Clinical and electrocardiographic aspect of pulmonary embolism masking aortic dissection revealed by thoracic CT angiography].
 

Author(s): Daniella Rakotoniaina Masinarivo, Jenny Larissa Rakotomanana

Journal:

 

We here report the case of a 52-year old hypertensive, obese woman (BMI 32,46 kg/m2) with a past history of smoking and without evidence-based risk factors of venous thromboembolism, hospitalized for left chest pain radiating to the dorsolumbar region associated with dyspnoea. Clinical ...

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 211 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: 31 Dec 1969

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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: 31 Dec 1969

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Biomarkers for Clinical Decision-Making in the Management of Pulmonary Embolism.
 

Author(s): Evangelos Giannitsis, Hugo A Katus

Journal: Clin. Chem.. 2017 Jan;63(1):91-100.

 

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is associated with high all-cause and PE-related mortality and requires individualized management. After confirmation of PE, a refined risk stratification is particularly warranted among normotensive patients. Previous prognostic models favored combinations ...

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 Submassive Pulmonary Embolism
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Pulmonary Embolism

 

Last Updated: 24 Aug 2017

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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: 27 Jul 2017

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