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Review
. 2018 Jun;35(2):92-98.
doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1642036. Epub 2018 Jun 4.

Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Natural History of Pulmonary Embolism

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Free PMC article
Review

Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Natural History of Pulmonary Embolism

Meredith Turetz et al. Semin Intervent Radiol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a common and potentially deadly form of venous thromboembolic disease. It is the third most common cause of cardiovascular death and is associated with multiple inherited and acquired risk factors as well as advanced age. The prognosis from PE depends on the degree of obstruction and hemodynamic effects of PE and understanding the pathophysiology helps in risk-stratifying patients and determining treatment. Though the natural history of thrombus is resolution, a subset of patients have chronic residual thrombus, contributing to the post-PE syndrome.

Keywords: Pulmonary Embolism; hemodynamics; interventional radiology; natural history; risk factors; venous thromboembolism.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Physiologic consequences of right ventricular (RV) failure on left ventricular (LV) cardiac output. The RV and LV are connected in “series” and in “parallel.” Decreased RV cardiac output leads directly to decreased return to the LV and therefore decreased LV cardiac output (“connected in series”). Furthermore, RV overload and dilatation compresses the interventricular septum which impinges on the LV and further decreases the LV cardiac output (“connected in parallel”).

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