Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Timmons, S,Kingston, M,Hussain, M,Kelly, H,Liston, R
2003
January
Age Ageing
Pulmonary embolism: differences in presentation between older and younger patients
Validated
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Optional Fields
pulmonary embolism presentation computed tomography CLINICAL PRESENTATION ELDERLY PATIENTS DIAGNOSIS CT ANGIOGRAPHY ULCER PAIN AGE
32
601
605
Background: the incidence of pulmonary embolism increases with age but the 'classical' presentation of acute pulmonary embolism may not occur in older persons.Objectives: to compare the clinical presentation of younger and older patients with acute pulmonary embolism.Design: retrospective identification of 60 consecutive cases of spiral computed tomography confirmed acute pulmonary embolism Over a 3-year period, with blinded review of radiological films and electrocardiographs, and analysis of clinical presentation.Setting: a district general hospital serving a population of 200,000 people.Subjects: 31 younger and 29 older patients with acute pulmonary embolism.Results: older persons less often complained of pleuritic chest pain (P<0.02), particularly as their primary presenting complaint (P<0.002). Twenty-four percent of older but just 3% of younger persons presented with collapse (P<0.02), despite similar proportions of central and peripheral emboli in the two groups. Older persons were more often cyanosed (P=0.05) and hypoxic (P<0.04) than younger persons but there were no significant differences with respect to heart rate, respiratory rate or mean arterial blood pressure.Conclusions: older people present atypically with acute pulmonary embolism, potentially leading to delays in diagnosis and initiation of treatment. Collapse is a particularly important symptom of acute pulmonary embolism in older persons, even in the absence of pain.
Grant Details