Pulmonary embolism (PE)

Diagnostic and therapeutic approach


Probability of pulmonary embolism

If high probability do CT scan.

Low or intermediate probability dose D-dimers. If D-dimers normal no treatment if D-dimers augmented CT scan or echocardiography.

If diagnosis of pulmonary embolism confirmed or probable estimate the risk to start treatment.

  • BP > 90 mm Hg, biomarkers and echo negatives, low risk.
  • BP > 90 mm Hg, biomarkers high (BNP, troponine) and positive echocardiography, intermediate risk.
  • BP < 90 mm Hg, shock, resuscitation high risk.


  • Dyspnea (50% of cases).
  • Parietal pain (39% of cases).
  • Unilateral edema (24% of cases).
  • Cough (23% of cases).
  • Supra-sternal pain (15% of cases).
  • Fever (10% of cases).
  • Hemoptysis (8% of cases).
  • Syncope (6% of cases).
  • Pain in one leg (6% of cases).