Pulmonary Embolic Disease


Pulmonary embolism is a serious medical condition in which blood clots (thrombi) are released into the venous circulation and eventually find their way to the pulmonary vascular bed. Most of these clots originate in the leg veins as the result of an episode of phlebitis. The larger the volume of blood clot in the pulmonary circulation, the greater is the obstruction to normal blood flow through the lungs and the greater the circulatory compromise. Massive pulmonary embolism is often fatal.

Keywords: pulmonary embolism; pathophysiology; diagnosis; treatment


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Further Reading

Alpert JS and Dalen JE (1998) Pulmonary embolism. In: Alexander RW, Schlant RC and Fuster V (eds) Hurst's The Heart, 9th edn, pp. 1719–1738. New York: McGraw‐Hill.

Goldhaber SZ (1998) Pulmonary embolism. New England Journal of Medicine 339: 93–104.

Goldhaber SZ and Morpurgo M (1991) Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pulmonary embolism: report of the WHO/International Society and Federation of Cardiology Task Force. Journal of the American Medical Association 268: 1727–1733.

Salzman EW (1992) Low‐molecular‐weight heparin and other new antithrombotic drugs. New England Journal of Medicine 326: 1017–1019.

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Alpert, Joseph S(Apr 2001) Pulmonary Embolic Disease. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002117]