[Clinical diagnosis of pulmonary embolism: a real challenge]. - Université de Bretagne Occidentale Access content directly
Journal Articles La Revue de Médecine Interne Year : 2007

[Clinical diagnosis of pulmonary embolism: a real challenge].


Clinical signs of pulmonary embolism are neither sensitive nor specific enough to rule in or out the diagnosis in suspected patients. As an example, a chest pain that is reproducible at palpation in suspected patients was recently shown not to be associated with a lower proportion of confirmed cases of pulmonary embolism. However, clinical evaluation of patients with suspected pulmonary embolism is important, because it allows the physician to assess the clinical probability of pulmonary embolism, a mandatory step in diagnostic strategies for this disease. In elderly patients, the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism is particularly challenging. Indeed, the diagnostic value of symptoms and clinical signs of pulmonary embolism is reduced, the evaluation of the clinical probability is more difficult, and performances of some diagnostic tests are diminished with increasing age. The diminution of the proportion of confirmed cases among suspected patients is a new challenge for physicians, and raises the question of what is a clinical suspicion of pulmonary embolism.

Dates and versions

hal-00685719 , version 1 (05-04-2012)



Grégoire Le Gal, Marc Righini, Dominique Mottier. [Clinical diagnosis of pulmonary embolism: a real challenge].. La Revue de Médecine Interne, 2007, 28 (6), pp.394-9. ⟨10.1016/j.revmed.2006.11.002⟩. ⟨hal-00685719⟩
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