The role of echocardiography in acute pulmonary embolism (PE) remains incompletely defined. Echocardiography cannot reliably diagnose acute PE, and it does not improve prognostication of patients with low-risk acute PE who lack other clinical features of right ventricular (RV) dysfunction. Echocardiography, however, may yield additional prognostic information in higher risk patients and can aid in distinguishing acute from chronic RV dysfunction. Specific echocardiographic markers of RV dysfunction have the potential to enhance prognostication beyond existing risk models. Until these markers are subjected to rigorous prospective studies, the therapeutic utility and economic value of echocardiography in acute PE are uncertain.
- pulmonary embolism
- venous thromboembolism
- right ventricular dysfunction
- risk stratification
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