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January 11, 2006

Diagnosing Pulmonary Embolism With Improved Certainty and Simplicity

JAMA. 2006;295(2):213-215. doi:10.1001/jama.295.2.213

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is both a common and ubiquitous disorder which, if incorrectly diagnosed and untreated, is associated with high patient morbidity and mortality due to nonfatal and fatal recurrent venous thromboembolism. Pulmonary embolism is one of the “great masqueraders” of medicine. The presenting symptoms and signs are nonspecific; therefore, diagnostic testing is necessary to establish the presence or absence of PE. The current diagnostic pathways available for the clinician are a profound improvement compared with those available historically.