Sunday, February 26, 2006

Resolution of pulmonary emboli

This study in Chest questions the conventional wisdom. We assume pulmonary emboli resolve, and those few whose emboli do not are the ones destined to get chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. But this systematic review indicates residual thrombi present in 87% of patients at 8 days following diagnosis and 52% at 11 months. The authors suggest re-imaging after treatment to establish a baseline. I’m not sure how it applies to the real world. The study has its flaws---only 4 of 29 papers of widely varying methods were included in the analysis.

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