Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is the obstruction of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches by a substance, typically a blood clot, but also tumor, air, or fat. PE can be acute or chronic. Acute PE can be massive, causing a large drop in blood pressure, or submassive. Chronic PE presents as slowly developing shortness of breath. Because obstruction of blood flow to the lung occurs, PE can cause lung ischemia and infarct.

Case #1a. Bilateral segmental / subsegmental pulmonary emboli demonstrated.


Case #1b. In same patient, lung window: wedge-based infarct in lower right lobe.




Case #2a. An essentially normal chest radiograph (i.e., below) does not rule out pulmonary embolism.
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Case #2b. The V/Q scan in the same patient, showing lack of perfusion to entire right lower and right middle lobes.
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Case #3. Embolized material visible in lung bases.