0
ARTICLE |

A Noninvasive Strategy for the Treatment of Patients With Suspected Pulmonary Embolism

Russell D. Hull, MBBS, MSc; Gary E. Raskob, MSc; Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD; Akbar A. Panju, MD; Patrick Brill-Edwards, MD; Geoffrey Coates, MBBS; Graham F. Pineo, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(3):289-297. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420030093009.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background:  Pulmonary embolism has historically presented a formidable diagnostic problem because of the nonspecificity of the clinical findings associated with this disorder and the diagnostic uncertainties and challenges presented by both ventilation-perfusion lung scanning and pulmonary angiography. We have reported previously that serial noninvasive leg testing provides a practical noninvasive alternative to pulmonary angiography in patients with nonhigh probability (nondiagnostic) lung scans and adequate cardiorespiratory reserve. We have reevaluated this observation prospectively to (1) confirm or refute our original observation in an independent cohort and (2) to increase the numbers sufficiently to provide narrow confidence limits for the observed outcomes.

Methods:  A prospective comparative study in 1564 consecutive patients with suspected pulmonary embolism who underwent ventilation-perfusion lung scanning and objective testing for proximal-vein thrombosis.

Results:  On long-term follow-up of 627 patients with the following characteristics: (1) abnormal, nondiagnostic lung scans, (2) not taking anticoagulant therapy, and (3) serial noninvasive test results negative for proximal-vein thrombosis, only 12 patients (1.9%; 95% confidence limits, 0.8% to 3.0%) had venous thromboembolism. By comparison, venous thromboembolism on follow-up occurred in four (0.7%) of 586 patients (95% confidence limits, 0.02% to 1.3%) with normal lung scans in whom anticoagulant therapy was withheld and in eight (5.5%) of 145 patients (95% confidence limits, 1.8% to 9.2%) with high probability lung scans who received anticoagulant therapy.

Conclusions:  Our findings indicate that the clinician has a practical noninvasive strategy in patients with adequate cardiorespiratory reserve and nondiagnostic lung scans that (1) avoids pulmonary angiography, (2) identifies patients with proximal-vein thrombosis who require treatment, and (3) avoids the need for treatment and further investigation in the majority of patients.(Arch Intern Med. 1994;154:289-297)

Topics

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

Figures

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Web of Science® Times Cited: 260

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();