JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Transthoracic Echocardiography for Diagnosing Pulmonary Embolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Matthew Fields, Joshua Davis, Lily Girson, Arthur Au, Jacqueline Potts, Charity J Morgan, Imelda Vetter, Lee Ann Riesenberg
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography 2017, 30 (7): 714-723.e4
28495379

OBJECTIVE: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a common diagnosis with significant mortality if not appropriately treated. The use of transthoracic echocardiography in patients with PE is common; however, its diagnostic capabilities in this use are unclear. With the increased use of ultrasonography in medical settings, it is important to understand the strengths and limitations of echocardiography for the diagnosis of PE.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of PubMed, CINAHL, and EMBASE through 2016 for articles assessing the diagnostic accuracy of transthoracic echocardiography for PE. Two authors independently abstracted relevant data from the studies. We assessed quality using the QUADAS-2 tool for diagnostic studies.

RESULTS: Undefined "right heart strain" was the most common sign used, and it had a sensitivity of 53% (95% CI, 45%-61%) and a specificity of 83% (95% CI, 74%-90%). Eleven other distinct signs were identified: ventricle size ratio, abnormal septal motion, tricuspid regurgitation, 60/60 sign, McConnell's sign, right heart thrombus, right ventricle hypokinesis, pulmonary hypertension, right ventricular end-diastolic diameter, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, and right ventricular systolic pressure.

CONCLUSIONS: Studies show a consistently high specificity and low sensitivity for echocardiography in the diagnosis of PE, making it potentially adequate as a rule-in test at the bedside in critical care settings such as the emergency department and intensive care unit for patients with a suspicion of PE, especially those unable to get other confirmatory studies. Future research may continue to clarify the role of bedside echocardiography in conjunction with other tests and imaging in the overall management of PE.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

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

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
28495379
×

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"