The clinical features of submassive and massive pulmonary emboli

Am J Med. 1977 Mar;62(3):355-60. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(77)90832-4.


Clinical findings in 167 patients with angiographically established pulmonary emboli were analyzed in detail. The clinical symptoms and physical findings in this group were compared with the findings in 160 patients (diagnosis established by angiography) from an earlier similar study. The observations from this, the largest known group of patients with documented pulmonary emboli that has been studied and reported on, revealed that many of the "classic signs and symptoms" occurred infrequently. Most patients in this study had prognostic value. The data from this study demonstrate that no clinical findings are specific for the diagnosis of pulmonary emboli, but the absence of isolated frequently occurring signs and symptoms should mitigate against the presence of pulmonary emboli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Angiography
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Cough / diagnosis
  • Dyspnea / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fever / diagnosis
  • Heart Sounds
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Immobilization
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality
  • Syncope / diagnosis