Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 269-276

Diagnostic implications of computed tomography pulmonary angiography in patients with pulmonary embolism

1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, Department of Surgery, Clinical Research, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
2 Department of Radiology, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
3 Department of Surgery, Clinical Research, Trauma Surgery, Clinical Research, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
4 Department of Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
5 Department of Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence Address:
Ayman El-Menyar
Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar. P. O. Box: 3050, Doha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.191868

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Introduction: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a serious cardiovascular and pulmonary complication worldwide. We aimed to assess the implications of different computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) parameters in patients with acute PE. Methods: A retrospective observational study to include patients presented with clinical suspicious of PE who underwent CTPA was conducted. Patients' demographics, clinical presentation, risk factors, laboratory investigations, management, and outcome were analyzed. Computed tomography findings included clot burden (Qanadli score [QS]) and right ventricular dysfunction (RVD) parameters. Results: A total of 45 patients with radiologically confirmed diagnosis of PE were included in the study; of these patients, 8 (17.8%) died during the hospital course. Patients who died were 13 years older than those who survived, and the mortality rate was significantly higher in patients with cancer. The two groups were comparable for cardiovascular parameters. The mean clot burden (QS) was 19.5 ± 11.3 points and 53% of patients had QS >18 points. Obesity (52.4% vs. 12.5%; P = 0.01), hypertension (54.4% vs. 23.8%; P= 0.03), and median D-dimer levels (7.8 vs. 3.4; P = 0.03) were significantly higher in patients with QS >18. Among right ventricular (RV) dysfunction parameters, only higher RV/left ventricular (LV) ratio (P = 0.001) and bowing of interventricular septum (P = 0.001) were associated with higher QS. A significant positive correlation was found between RV short axis (r = 0.499, P = 0.001), RV/LV ratio (r = 0.592, P = 0.001), and pulmonary artery (PA) diameter (r = 0.301, P = 0.04) with the PA clot burden. Receiver operating characteristic curve for clot burden showed a cutoff value of 17.5 points to accurately predict RV dysfunction. Conclusions: Clot burden >18 is associated with RV dysfunction in patients with acute PE. Echocardiography and RVD parameters showed no correlation with in-hospital deaths. CTPA has clinicoradiological implications for risk stratification in PE patients. As the sample size is small, our findings warrant further larger prospective studies.

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