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Utility of alveolar 'dead space' in the risk stratification of pulmonary embolism in patients who present to the emergency room with acute dyspnea

Background

Previous studies have suggested that normal results of D-dimer and alveolar dead space are highly predictive tools to determine pulmonary embolism in patients with acute dyspnea.

Objective

To assess the utility of a protocol to monitor the alveolar dead space fraction associated with D-dimer in the prediction of pulmonary embolism in patients with acute dyspnea.

Methods

A prospective study where a protocol was used to assess alveolar dead space and D-dimer in Q patients who presented to the emergency department with dyspnea. The enrollment was performed from September through October 2003.

Results

Seven (77.7%) patients were female and the mean age was 77.1 ± 13 years. Nine (100%) patients underwent Doppler ultrasonography of the venous lower extremities; four (44.4%) underwent CT scan of the thorax, three (33.3%) had high dead space alveolar fraction; six (66.6%) had a high D-dimer, and three (33.3%) had an ultimate diagnostic of pulmonary embolism.

Conclusion

A normal alveolar fraction of dead space and normal D-dimer were associated with low prevalence of pulmonary embolism in patients admitted to the emergency department with acute dyspnea.

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de Andrade, K., Pinheiro, A., Muiño, F. et al. Utility of alveolar 'dead space' in the risk stratification of pulmonary embolism in patients who present to the emergency room with acute dyspnea. Crit Care 9 (Suppl 2), P86 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1186/cc3630

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/cc3630

Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Emergency Department
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Lower Extremity
  • Emergency Medicine