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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


MASCARELLO, Maximiliano G et al. Tromboembolismo de pulmón: Sospecha clínica y correlación anatomopatológica. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2020, vol.80, n.2, pp.97-102. ISSN 0025-7680.

Discrepancies between clinical suspicion and pathological findings in pulmonary embolism (PE) appear to be frequent. The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence of PE in a necropsy series of patients who have died in an acute care hospital between 1998-2017, its relationship with previous clinical suspicion, and its importance as a cause of death. It is a retrospective observational study of 350 autopsies done at the Department of Pathology. We analyzed the demographic characteristics, main clinical diagnoses stated in the autopsy request form, incidence of PE diagnosed, main autopsy findings related with the cause of death, as well as the concordance between clinical suspicion and autopsy diagnosis. In only 8% of the cases (n = 28) the clinical diagnosis of autopsy request was PE. An autopsy diagnosis of PE was done in 127 cases (36.3%); in 33 cases (25.9%) affected large pulmonary vessels; medium caliber vessels were affected in 75 cases (59.1%), and in 19 cases small vessels. The PE was considered as a contributor or cause of death in 30.9% (n = 108). However, only 15.7% of the confirmed PE cases had previous clinical suspicion. This series of necropsies shows that PE is a high prevalence finding in autopsies at an acute care hospital, and an important cause of death in a 20 years period. The finding of a low concordance with clinical diagnosis should alert the medical community on the importance of clinical suspicion in order to achieve an early diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

Keywords : Pulmonary embolism; Autopsy; Epidemiology.

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