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January 24, 1966

Pulmonary Embolism: Mechanism and Management

JAMA. 1966;195(4):325. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100040131052

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This book on pulmonary embolism is essentially a review of the major world literature on this subject. Much of the recent experimental literature on the anatomic, physiological, pharmacological, and biochemical considerations of pulmonary embolic disease, is well analyzed and convincingly evaluated. But the chapters discussing the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of pulmonary embolism—surely the heart of the book to many readers —fall down badly. The volume suggests strongly that the author has had little opportunity to take responsibility for the diagnosis and management of patients with venous thromboembolism.

The drawbacks and weaknesses of any technique for diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of pulmonary embolism are often given equal weight with the advantages, to the point where diagnosis seems universally doubtful, prevention probably futile, and treatment often either too risky or too unpromising to carry through. Thus the usefulness and safety of pulmonary angiography in demonstrating chunks of thrombus in the main

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