Subacute Massive Thromboembolic Occlusion of a Main Pulmonary Artery

Woods, Bartholomew O'B.; Beamis Jr., John F.; Bettencourt, Paul E.; Persson, Alfred V.
January 1985
Angiology;Jan1985, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p58
Academic Journal
Subacute massive thromboembolic occlusion of the left main pulmonary artery in a 52-year-old woman is described. This disease remains a rare entity with a much less dramatic presentation than acute massive pulmonary embolus. The presenting symptom was unexplained dyspnea. Physical signs and laboratory tests were nonspecific. The perfusion scan is the best screening test for this disorder. Antemortem diagnosis is established by pulmonary angiography. A literature review undertaken to ascertain the incidence of this entity as well as to recommend treatment of choice, be it medical or surgical therapy, was unrewarding. We decided to use thrombolytic therapy and found a marked improvement in the patient's symptoms and perfusion scan after 24 hours. Although thrombolytic therapy is commonly indicated for acute massive pulmonary embolism, we believe this mode of therapy should also be the initial treatment for subacute massive pulmonary thromboembolism.


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