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July 1967

Neurological Manifestations of Pulmonary Thromboembolism

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor University College of Medicine, and Ben Taub General Hospital, Houston. Dr. Willerson is presently at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Arch Intern Med. 1967;120(1):33-37. doi:10.1001/archinte.1967.00300010035006

During en-ntered four cases of fatal pulmonary thromboembolism in which symptoms and signs referable to the nervous system were sufficiently prominent to mask the true nature of the underlying disease. An analysis of these cases revealed certain clues that might have led to the correct premortem diagnosis. The purpose of this report is to emphasize those clues and to review the neurological manifestations of pulmonary thromboembolism.

Report of Cases 

Case  —This 61-year-old man was well until he fainted while carrying a beer cooler to his car. Upon regaining consciousness, he noticed weakness in his right arm, frontal headache, and pain in the right side of the chest, all of which subsided within a few hours. He remained asymptomatic until three days later when he fainted while eating breakfast. His private physician found him to have "low blood pressure" and mental confusion and referred him for further evaluation and therapy.On

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