Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Mar 14;46:126-131. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2021.03.031. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: Clinical features may be different in patients with PE without co-existing DVT compared to those with PE with co-existing DVT. This prospective study aims to investigate the different clinical features between patients with isolated pulmonary embolism (PE) and those with PE associated with deep venous thrombosis.
METHOD: This is a prospective study conducted in 107 consecutive patients diagnosed with acute PE in the emergency department or other departments of Kırıkkale University Hospital. The diagnosis of PE was confirmed by computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA), which was ordered on the basis of symptoms and findings. Bilateral lower extremity compression ultrasound with standard 7.5 MHz linear array probe was applied to all patients. According to compression ultrasound results, the patients were divided into two classes as with and without deep venous thrombosis. Embolism in the main or lobar pulmonary arteries were classified as central, and those found only in segmental or subsegmental arteries were classified as peripheral. Laboratory parameters and Oxygen saturation were assessed on admission.
RESULTS: 67 of 107 (62.6%) patients with PE were isolated pulmonary embolism, and 40 (37.4%) were PE + DVT. Patients with PE with co-existing DVT have wider pulmonary artery, higher d-dimer and pro BNP level, and lower saturation than those with isolated pulmonary embolism. Central pulmonary embolism is more common in patients with deep vein thrombus than those without it. (87.5% (35/40) vs 32.8% (22/67),p = 0.001). 38.6% of central pulmonary embolism occur without deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities. Patients with PE with co-existing DVT have 42.5% mosaic perfusion pattern,70% chronic infarct appearance such as linear band, pleural nodüle, %15.0 thickened, small arteries and, %12.5 shrunken complete artery occlusion, suggesting the chronic background.
CONCLUSION: PE patients with co-existing DVT are clinically more serious than those who do not have a DVT. An acute picture may be present in the chronic background in a significant proportion of patients with PE with co-existing DVT. In the presence of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism is usually central, but more than one-third of central pulmonary emboli occur without lower extremity deep vein thrombosis.