Clinical guidelines on the evaluation of patients with suspected acute pulmonary embolism
Important: This article is medical in nature and is intended for HCPs (healthcare professionals only).
Word count: 900 words with table. Article provided in Word document format. Fully referenced.
Despite it being common, thenon-specific signs, symptoms, and risk factors of pulmonary embolism (PE), due to thrombotic occlusion of the main or branching pulmonary arteries, makes it difficult to diagnose. Acute PE is also associated with high morbidity and mortality. To help guide physicians during their evaluation of patients with suspected acute PE, clinical decision tools have been developed and created.1
The majority of these decision tools, such as the original Wells criteria, the dichotomised Wells criteria, the simplified Wells criteria, the revised Geneva score and the simplified Geneva score, use D-dimer testing for patients at lower risk for PE, with the aim of avoiding unnecessary computed tomography (CT) if D-dimer levels are normal. The Pulmonary Embolism Rule-Out Criteria (PERC) were developed specially to aid clinicians in identifying low-risk patients in whom the risks of any testing, including a plasma D-dimer level, outweigh the risk for PE (~1%).