The Diagnosis and Management of Pulmonary Embolism
The first essential when discussing the diagnosis and management of pulmonary embolism is to distinguish between different types of embolism since the presentation, physical signs and prognosis are profoundly influenced by, in particular, the duration and severity of embolism. In the past much confusion has been caused by the use of imprecise terms such as “symptomatic embolism” and by failure to distinguish between signs that are due to embolism per-se and those due to co-existing cardio-respiratory disease. In this presentation I will confine my remarks to the effects of embolism occurring in patients without other cardiorespiratory disease. We recognise four clinical syndromes resulting from pulmonary thromboembolism. These can be distinguished on the clinical history and are (1) Acute minor embolism (2) Acute massive embolism (3) Sub-acute massive embolism and (4) Chronic thrombo-embolic pulmonary hypertension.
KeywordsPulmonary Embolism Ventricular Failure Pulmonary Ventilation Massive Pulmonary Embolism Treatment Failure Rate
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