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Fatal pulmonary emboli in hospitalized patients. An autopsy study.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Archives of Internal Medicine
0003-9926
Publisher
American Medical Association
Publication Date
Volume
148
Issue
6
Pages
1425–1426
Identifiers
PMID: 3377625
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

To determine the accuracy of the antemortem diagnosis of major pulmonary embolism, we reviewed 1276 autopsy reports at St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, from 1980 to 1984. Of 44 patients identified with major pulmonary embolism as the cause of death or a major factor contributing to it, 14 (31.8%) had the diagnosis suspected before death. We could not find any distinctive features separating these patients from those in whom the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism was not suspected before death. We conclude that major pulmonary embolism is still underdiagnosed in hospitalized patients, despite the availability of lung scanning and pulmonary angiography.

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