Use of D-dimer and lower extremity doppler ultrasound results to obviate the need for computerised tomographic pulmonary angiography

Amartya Mukhopadhyay, Sudhakar Venkatesh, Poh Sun Goh, Tow Keang Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: We hypothesise that correct interpretation of other diagnostic tests could reduce the use of computerised tomographic pulmonary angiogram (CTPA) examinations in patients with suspected pulmonary embolism (PE). Materials and Methods: We carried out a retrospective analysis of 158 patients in a 928-bed university hospital. These consecutive patients were investigated for suspected PE from May 2001 to February 2002 using CTPA. Results: There were 74 men and 84 women with a mean (±SD) age of 57 (±19) years. Overall, 56% of patients (89/158) showed clinically significant abnormalities on the CTPA examination. The overall prevalence of PE was 15% (24/158). The D-dimers were assayed in 40% (63/158) and lower limbs were scanned with Doppler ultrasound (US) in 22% (35/158) of patients. None of the 19 patients with negative D-dimer assays had PE. Of the patients who were positively tested on Doppler US, 4 were positive and 1 was negative for PE on the CTPA. None of the patients with positive Doppler US had negative D-dimer test. In retrospect, patient management based on negative D-dimer assays and positive lower extremity Doppler US studies could have reduced the need for further investigation with CTPA by 15% (24/158). Conclusion: In patients with suspected PE, correct interpretation of D-dimer and leg Doppler US tests may reduce the demand for CTPAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-863
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore
Volume35
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Keywords

  • CTPA
  • D-dimer
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Spiral CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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