Pulmonary Embolism

MRI techniques improve pulmonary embolism detection

New research shows that the addition of two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences to a common MR angiography technique significantly improves detection of pulmonary embolism, a potentially life-threatening condition ...

Mar 19, 2012
popularity0 comments 0

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches by a substance that has travelled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream (embolism). Usually this is due to embolism of a thrombus (blood clot) from the deep veins in the legs, a process termed venous thromboembolism. A small proportion is due to the embolization of air, fat, talc in drugs of intravenous drug abusers or amniotic fluid. The obstruction of the blood flow through the lungs and the resultant pressure on the right ventricle of the heart leads to the symptoms and signs of PE. The risk of PE is increased in various situations, such as cancer or prolonged bed rest.

Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include difficulty breathing, chest pain on inspiration, and palpitations. Clinical signs include low blood oxygen saturation and cyanosis, rapid breathing, and a rapid heart rate. Severe cases of PE can lead to collapse, abnormally low blood pressure, and sudden death.

Diagnosis is based on these clinical findings in combination with laboratory tests (such as the D-dimer test) and imaging studies, usually CT pulmonary angiography. Treatment is typically with anticoagulant medication, including heparin and warfarin. Severe cases may require thrombolysis with drugs such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or may require surgical intervention via pulmonary thrombectomy.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Can coffee perk up heart health, too?

The caffeine in your morning cup of joe may do more than jolt you awake—it may also help dampen the type of inflammation that's linked to heart disease risk factors, a new study suggests.

Protein may protect tumor-initiating breast cancer cells

Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified a protein that may play an essential role in maintaining a population of tumor-initiating cells (TICs)—treatment-resistant cells responsible for cancer recurrence ...

Metabolic sensor causes granulomas to form

Granulomas are tissue nodules of immune cells that occur in diseases such as tuberculosis and sarcoidosis and can damage many organs. For the first time, a team of researchers at the Center for Pathobiochemistry and Genetics ...