[Misdiagnosis of pulmonary embolism and causes]

Tuberk Toraks. 2015;63(1):13-21. doi: 10.5578/tt.8562.
[Article in Turkish]


Introduction: Pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) is not only one of the prevelant diseases with a high mortality risk but also has a high ratio of delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis. In this study, it was aimed to determine the demographical characteristics, risk factors, clinical and laboratory findings of the patients that were diagnosed as PTE at their first hospital visit and of the PE patients who were misdiagnosed at their first admission. We aimed to investigate the factors which can leads to misdiagnosis of PE, and to determine the ways to avoid misdiagnosis.

Materials and methods: One hundred PTE patients who were admitted to University Hospital between the dates January 2007-December 2011 were included in the study. Clinical and laboratory findings of these patients were evaluated. Among these patients, 26 were misdiagnosed at their first admission but diagnosed accurately (as PTE) in our hospital and 74 were diagnosed accurately. Two groups were compared with respect to various data of the patients clinical and demographical characteristics.

Results: Between the two groups, there was no difference in terms of physical examination and laboratory findings. The patients with the symptoms onset was over a week ago had a higher misdiagnosis rate (p= 0.002). The patients with no risk of PTE had a higher misdiagnosis rate (p= 0.017). Misdiagnosis rate of the patients with cardiac diseases was lower (p= 0.033) According to Geneva risk score, we observed that the misdiagnosis risk was reduced in the patients with higher clinical probability (p= 0.011).

Conclusion: In conclusion, misdiagnosis rate was found to be statistically significant in the patients with low score according to the Geneva risk classification, and whose pre-diagnosis period lasted for more than a week and with no risk factors of PTE or cardiac diseases. We are in the opinion that considering these parameters will help to reduce in misdiagnosis of pulmonary embolism cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnostic Errors*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Turkey / epidemiology