Prognostic significance of the lung scintigraphy scan result and corresponding chest X-ray in patients with suspected pulmonary embolism

A S Al-Adhami, A J Simpson, J H Reid, M MacDougall, J T Murchison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

AIM: To determine whether the survival of patients with suspected acute pulmonary embolism (PE) relates to radiological probability of acute PE assessed using lung scintigraphy scans (LSS).

METHODS: Lung scintigraphy scan results from a venous thromboembolism database were categorised as high, indeterminate or low probability using the modified PIOPED criteria and corresponding chest X-rays (CXRs) as normal or abnormal. Mortality data on these cases were obtained from the General Register Office for Scotland, and survival was analysed using the Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS: Of the 1,818 LSS analysed, 941 (51.8%) were normal, 532 (29.3%) indeterminate and 345 (19.0%) high probability. After an adjustment for age and gender, no significant survival difference was found between patients with normal and high probability LSS (p=0.182). However, patients with indeterminate LSS had significantly lower survival than patients in the other groups. This difference persisted after adjustment for CXR result.

CONCLUSIONS: Indeterminate LSS results are associated with a poor prognosis. Careful follow-up of patients with inderminate LSS would appear to be justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-200
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

Keywords

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scotland
  • Survival Rate
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed

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