Multiorgan ultrasonographic findings in patients with pulmonary embolism at diagnosis and clinical follow-up: a proof of concept study

Casper Falster, Gro Egholm, Niels Jacobsen, Mikael K Poulsen, Stefan Posth, Jacob E Møller, Mikkel Brabrand, Christian B Laursen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE: The purpose of this descriptive feasibility study was to assess the clinical impact and feasibility of conducting a multiorgan ultrasound examination of patients with pulmonary embolism at both time of diagnosis and at clinical follow-up.

METHODS: Hemodynamically stable patients with pulmonary embolism verified by CT pulmonary angiography or ventilation perfusion scintigraphy were eligible for inclusion. Enrolled patients underwent multiorgan ultrasound investigation encompassing echocardiography supplemented with focused lung and deep venous ultrasound emphasizing right ventricular strain, subpleural consolidations and presence of deep venous thrombi. Identical investigations were conducted at 3 months follow-up. The presence of ultrasonographic findings at diagnosis and follow-up was compared and the clinical impact of any remaining pathology or strain was described.

RESULTS: Twenty-one patients were enrolled in the study of whom 20 survived to attend follow-up. Mean age was 62 ± 15 years and 48% were female. At diagnosis, the most prevalent ultrasonographic findings were subpleural consolidations in 11 patients and right ventricular dilation in eight. At follow-up, signs of right ventricular strain had resolved in all patients. However, in one patient, no resolution was seen in a subpleural consolidation observed at the time of pulmonary embolism diagnosis, resulting in referral to a chest CT. Additionally, one patient exhibited residual deep venous thrombotic material, leading to prolongation of anticoagulative treatment.

CONCLUSION: In patients with pulmonary embolism, multiorgan ultrasound is feasible in follow-up and adequately powered studies should determine the clinical utility of such an approach.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ultrasound
ISSN1971-3495
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17. Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. Società Italiana di Ultrasonologia in Medicina e Biologia (SIUMB).

Keywords

  • Ultrasound
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • DVT
  • Echocardiography

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