Non-invasive exclusion and diagnosis of pulmonary embolism by sequential use of the rapid ELISA D-dimer assay, clinical score and spiral CT

J J Michiels, W Schroyens, W De Backer, M van der Planken, H Hoogsteden, P M T Pattynama
International Angiology: a Journal of the International Union of Angiology 2003, 22 (1): 1-14
Pulmonary angiography is the gold standard for segmental pulmonary embolism (PE) but no longer for its subsegmental PE, because the inter-observer agreement for angiographically documented subsegmental PE is only 60%. Two non-invasive tools exclude PE with a negative predictive value of > 99%: a normal perfusion lung scan and a normal rapid ELISA VIDAS D-dimer test. The positive predictive value of a high probability ventilation-perfusion lung scan (VP-scan) is only 85% to 87%. The combination of a low clinical score and a non-diagnostic VP-scan safely exclude PE without the need of angiography. The prevalence of PE and that of an alternative diagnosis in symptomatic patients with a non-diagnostic VP-scan are 10% to 20% and 30% to 45%, respectively. Helical spiral computed tomography (CT) detects all clinically relevant PE and a large number of alternative diagnoses in symptomatic patients with a non-diagnostic or high probability VP-scan. The positive predictive value of the spiral CT is > 95%. Single-slice helical CT as the primary diagnostic test in patients with suspected PE in retrospective outcome studies and in prospective multicenter management studies indicate that the negative predictive value of a negative spiral CT preceded or followed by a negative compression ultrasonography (CUS) is > 99%. Therefore, a helical spiral CT can replace both the VP-scan and pulmonary angiography to safely rule in and out PE. A negative rapid ELISA VIDAS D-dimer test result will reduce the need for helical spiral CT by 25% to 35%.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"