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Acute massive pulmonary embolism
  1. G. A. H. Miller1,
  2. G. C. Sutton2
  1. Cardiac Department, Brompton Hospital, London S.W.3

    Clinical and haemodynamic findings in 23 patients studied by cardiac catheterization and pulmonary arteriography


    Twenty-three patients are reported in whom a diagnosis of acute massive pulmonary embolism was confirmed by pulmonary arteriography. All patients had a history of less than 48 hours' duration and only two had previous cardiorespiratory disease. In such patients the haemodynamic abnormalities determined at catheterization are due to pulmonary embolism as an isolated disturbance. These abnormalities include an only moderate degree of pulmonary hypertension (PA systolic pressure 38.4±6.8 mm. Hg), right ventricular `failure' (RVED 11.5±4.9 mm. Hg), arterial oxygen desaturation (86.4±11.2%) and a wide arteriovenous oxygen difference (8.1±1.8 ml./100 ml.), and low cardiac output. These haemodynamic abnormalities find their expression in the presentation and the clinical, electrocardiographic, and radiological findings which are described.

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    • 1 Correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr. G. A. H. Miller.

    • 2 This study forms part of an MD thesis submitted to the University of Cambridge.

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