• Cüneyt Ayrık
  • Hasan Çece
  • Seyran Bozkurt
  • Başak Bayram

Eurasian J Emerg Med 2006;5(3):21-28

Making a sure diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE) is difficult due to its nonspecific signs and symptoms, thus its actual prevalence remains unknown. In the USA, PE is the third most common cause of death, following cardiac diseases and cancer, with an annual incidence of up to 600,000 and a mortality of up to 100,000. Signs and symptoms such as chest pain, dyspnea, tachycardia, cough and hemoptysis are not specific to this entity.

In this article, the following modalities used in diagnosing pulmonary embolism are reviewed: chest radiographs, ventilation/perfusion scintigraphy, spiral computed tomography pulmonary angiography (SCTPA), MR angiography, echocardiography, and conventional pulmonary angiography. SCTPA has become a favorite imaging modality in diagnosing PE in the recent years. Multidetector row CT pulmonary angiography (MDCTPA) allows thin-slice imaging and shortens imaging times, while providing improved visualization of the subsegmental pulmonary vasculature.

Keywords: pulmonary embolism, diagnosis, spiral computed tomography, ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy