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Editor's Correspondence
August 13/27, 2001

Is Smoking a Risk Factor for Pulmonary Embolism?

Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(15):1925-1926. doi:

In a recent issue of the ARCHIVES, Wicki and colleagues1 reported the development of a simple score (based on 8 easily available and objective variables) that was used to estimate the probability of pulmonary embolism (PE) in patients presenting to an emergency ward.

Among 1090 consecutive patients in whom the diagnosis of PE was established or ruled out by a standard diagnostic algorithm, the probability score identified patients with low, intermediate, and high probability of PE with reasonable accuracy. The prevalence of PE, however, in the 3 groups was 10%, 38%, and 81%, respectively. The authors concluded that this simply derived score could be used to more effectively guide the diagnostic process among emergency department patients suspected of having PE. They urged that the score be externally validated in other centers.

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