Pulmonary embolism refers to a condition when one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot.
A pretest risk stratification enhanced by ultrasound of lung and
venous performs better than Wells score in the early diagnostic process
of pulmonary embolism (PE). That is the main finding of a study to be
published in the March 2017 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine
(AEM), a journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
‘Lung ultrasound can quickly and non-invasively allow physicians to literally see the identity of 'something else wrong' other than blood clots in the lung.’
The study, by Nazerian, et al, suggests that transthoracic lung
ultrasound can show alternative diagnoses such as pneumonia or pleural
effusion. The data add to findings of a recent systematic review and
meta-analysis showing useful overall diagnostic accuracy.
together, these papers suggest that lung ultrasound is here to stay and
should be considered when evaluating patients with suspected pulmonary
"One of the largest criticisms of the widely used Wells score for
estimating likelihood of potentially fatal blood clots in the lung (PE)
is the vagary that surrounds the definition of its term, 'alternative
diagnosis more likely than PE,'" said Jeffrey Kline, Vice Chair of
Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine, and professor in the
Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at Indiana University
School of Medicine.
"Most clinicians who believe an alternative
diagnosis is more likely than PE cannot name the diagnosis. Nazerian et
al, show that lung ultrasound can quickly and non-invasively allow
physicians to literally see the identity of 'something else wrong' other
than blood clots in the lung. This advantage can help them be more
confident in deciding not to order expensive testing that causes large
doses of radiation exposure to patients."