Difficulty breathing, chest pain, and cough key symptoms for embolism

October 22, 2012

Difficulty breathing, chest pain, and cough may sound like symptoms of a heart attack; however, new research shows that these are the key symptoms for pulmonary embolism (PE), a potentially fatal blockage in the lung.

A research team from Saint Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, retrospectively reviewed the clinical features, risk factors, and ECG findings in 334 patients with confirmed PE.

Results showed that dyspnea or difficulty breathing, chest pain, and cough were present in 72%, 38%, and 19% of the patients, respectively, and dyspnea was the only presenting symptom in 29%.

Cancer was the most common risk factor present in 27%, followed by prior history of or PE, immobilization, and surgery in 19%, 15%, and 15%, respectively.

This study was presented during CHEST 2012, the annual meeting of the , held October 20 – 25, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Explore further: Study examines prevalence of chest pain in patients 1 year after heart attack

Related Stories

Unsuspected PE seldom linked to death in cancer patients

October 9, 2012

(HealthDay)—Unsuspected pulmonary embolism (UPE) is not associated with an increased risk of death in cancer patients when compared to patients without pulmonary embolism (PE), according to research published in the October ...

Fainting after air travel may indicate pulmonary embolism

October 22, 2012

Fainting after recent air travel could be a sign of pulmonary embolism (PE), a potentially fatal blockage in the lungs. Syncope or fainting is an uncommon symptom of pulmonary embolism; however, new research presented at ...

Recommended for you

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

August 25, 2016

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. ...

In sub-Saharan Africa, cancer can be an infectious disease

August 26, 2016

In 1963, Irish surgeon Denis Parson Burkitt airmailed samples of an unusual jaw tumor found in Ugandan children to his colleague, Anthony Epstein, at Middlesex Hospital in London. Epstein, an expert in chicken viruses and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.