Clinico--pathologic correlations in pulmonary thromboembolism

Cor Vasa. 1980;22(3):176-84.


Pulmonary emboli (PE) were found in 18.5% of all consecutive autopsies at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague. In 11% of autopsies PE was the sole or major contributing cause of death; in 3.4% death occurred in patients who were expected to recover from the original illness. Pulmonary infarct was found in 42.6% of the patients with PE, multiple embolic phenomena of various ages in 43.7%, and venous thrombosis in 55.4% of cases with PE. The frequency of false negative and false positive clinical diagnosis of PE was 66.9% and 41.9%, respectively. PE went undetected in 57.1% of cases where it was directly responsible for death, and in 54.3% of patients with otherwise good long-term prognosis. The main factors responsible for incorrect diagnosis are the time interval from the onset of symptoms, missed clinical diagnosis of venous thrombosis, lack of laboratory examinations or their incorrect interpretation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autopsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality
  • Pulmonary Embolism / pathology