CT angiography for acute pulmonary embolism: what should radiologists look for beyond the embolus?

Michele Anzidei, Department of Radiological Sciences - Sapienza University of Rome

 

Introduction

Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is one of the main causes of chest pain referral to emergency departments and among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among non-neoplastic chest pathologies [1]. Since its introduction, CT angiography (CTA) has become the most reliable, flexible and widespread diagnostic technique to rule out acute PE in the emergency department [2]. CTA has also been proposed as a prognostic tool permitting the risk stratification of patients with acute PE, in particular for its ability to identify ancillary findings that may be integrated with information from vascular analyses [3]. A recently published meta-analysis from Meinel and colleagues describes the importance of these parameters and their correlation with clinical outcome [4].

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