Patients with high pretest probability of PE and negative CTPA were false negatives 5.2% of the time. It may not be safe to withhold anticoagulation from these people without further testing in addition to CTPA.
J Thromb Haemost. 2016 Jan;14(1):114-20. doi: 10.1111/jth.13188. Epub 2015 Dec 14.
1F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD, USA.
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
3Department of Internal Medicine, Instituto Ramon y Cajal de Investigacion Sanitaria IRYCIS, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain.
4Radiology Department, Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria IRYCIS, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain.
5Respiratory Department, Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria IRYCIS, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Alcala de Henares University, Madrid, Spain.
6Emergency Department, Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria IRYCIS, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain.
7Divisions of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
8Divisions of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and General Medical Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA.
Essentials: When high probability of pulmonary embolism (PE), sensitivity of computed tomography (CT) is unclear. We investigated the sensitivity of multidetector CT among 134 patients with a high probability of PE. A normal CT alone may not safely exclude PE in patients with a high clinical pretest probability. In patients with no clear alternative diagnosis after CTPA, further testing should be strongly considered.
Background: Whether patients with a negative multidetector computed tomographic pulmonary angiography (CTPA) result and a high clinical pretest probability of pulmonary embolism (PE) should be further investigated is controversial. Methods This was a prospective investigation of the sensitivity of multidetector CTPA among patients with a priori clinical assessment of a high probability of PE according to the Wells criteria. Among patients with a negative CTPA result, the diagnosis of PE required at least one of the following conditions: ventilation/perfusion lung scan showing a high probability of PE in a patient with no history of PE, abnormal findings on venous ultrasonography in a patient without previous deep vein thrombosis at that site, or the occurrence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in a 3-month follow-up period after anticoagulation was withheld because of a negative multidetector CTPA result. Results We identified 498 patients with a priori clinical assessment of a high probability of PE and a completed CTPA study. CTPA excluded PE in 134 patients; in these patients, the pooled incidence of VTE was 5.2% (seven of 134 patients; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5-9.0). Five patients had VTEs that were confirmed by an additional imaging test despite a negative CTPA result (five of 48 patients; 10.4%; 95% CI 1.8-19.1), and two patients had objectively confirmed VTEs that occurred during clinical follow-up of at least 3 months (two of 86 patients; 2.3%; 95% CI 0-5.5). None of the patients had a fatal PE during follow-up. Conclusions A normal multidetector CTPA result alone may not safely exclude PE in patients with a high clinical pretest probability.
© 2015 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
PMID: 26559176 [PubMed - in process]