Chapter 8. The Diagnosis of Acute Pulmonary Embolism

  1. Mark A. Crowther MD, MSc, FRCPC Professor Division Director2,3,
  2. Jeff Ginsberg MD, FRCPC Professor4,
  3. Holger J. Schünemann MD, PhD, MSc, FACP, FCCP Professor5,6,
  4. Ralph M. Meyer MD, FRCPC Director Professor7,8 and
  5. Richard Lottenberg MD, FACP Professor9
  1. Victor F. Tapson MD

Published Online: 4 FEB 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444300857.ch8

Evidence-Based Hematology

Evidence-Based Hematology

How to Cite

Tapson, V. F. (2008) The Diagnosis of Acute Pulmonary Embolism, in Evidence-Based Hematology (eds M. A. Crowther, J. Ginsberg, H. J. Schünemann, R. M. Meyer and R. Lottenberg), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444300857.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Division of Hematology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

  2. 3

    St. Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

  3. 4

    Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

  4. 5

    CLARITY Research Group, Department of Epidemiology, Italian National Cancer Institute Regina Elena, Rome, Italy

  5. 6

    McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

  6. 7

    National Cancer Institute of Canada, Clinical Trials Group, Edith Eisenhauer Chair in Clinical Cancer Research, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

  7. 8

    Departments of Oncology and Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

  8. 9

    Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Author Information

  1. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2009
  2. Published Print: 27 JUN 2008

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405157476

Online ISBN: 9781444300857



  • acute pulmonary embolism diagnosis;
  • arterial blood gas analysis;
  • Venous thromboembolism (VTE) - deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE);
  • D-dimer assays;
  • electrocardiographic abnormalities in acute PE patients;
  • using clinical probability assessment in diagnostic approach;
  • Canadian and Swiss clinical scores;
  • imaging studies for acute pulmonary embolism;
  • ventilation-perfusion scanning;
  • echocardiography in acute pulmonary embolism


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Background and purpose

  • Data Sources, study selection, and analysis

  • Introduction

  • Blood tests

  • Using clinical probability assessment in the diagnostic approach

  • Imaging studies for acute pulmonary embolism

  • Other diagnostic tests

  • The approach to suspected acute PE in the pregnant patient

  • Conclusions

  • References