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Chest, Vascular

Acute Pulmonary Embolism

History: 55 year old male with shortness of breath

Coronal contrast enhanced CT of the thorax (CT pulmonary angiogram) demonstrates a filling defect (yellow arrows) within the right main pulmonary artery extending into the branches of the right upper lobe and right lower lobe.

Coronal contrast enhanced CT of the thorax (CT pulmonary angiogram) demonstrates a filling defect (yellow arrows) within the right main pulmonary artery extending into the branches of the right upper lobe and right lower lobe.

This is a case of acute pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot which travels via the heart into the arteries that supply blood to the lungs. Typically the blood clot arises from the lower extremities, what is known as a deep vein thrombosis.

Pulmonary embolism is typically an urgent or emergent condition, and if large enough can cause death (saddle embolus).

Typical treatment includes long term anticoagulation.

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About radiologypics

I am a radiology physician from California, USA.

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