Review Article| Volume 157, P23-28, September 2017

Guidance for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism during pregnancy: Consensus and controversies


      • Pulmonary embolism (PE) is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality.
      • Clinical diagnosis is challenging: physiological changes, overlap with symptoms.
      • Current guidelines for investigations for suspected PE in pregnancy are inconsistent.
      • More research on pregnancy specific diagnostic algorithms is required.


      Pulmonary embolism (PE) is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality despite a low incidence of PE during pregnancy. Several challenges surround the diagnosis of PE in pregnant women and the existing clinical guidelines provide weak recommendations on selecting the appropriate investigations for suspected PE in pregnancy. The purpose of this narrative review is to compare and contrast the recommendations of current clinical guidelines and review the evidence underpinning the recommendations on the evaluation of suspected PE in pregnancy. Consensus and controversies, knowledge gaps and areas requiring further research will be highlighted.


      PE (Pulmonary embolism), VTE (Venous thromboembolism), DVT (Deep vein thrombosis), CTPA (Computer tomography pulmonary embolism), V/Q (Ventilation perfusion), GTH (Working Group in Women's Health of the Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis), RCOG (Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynecologist), ESC (European Society of Cardiology), SOGC (Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologist of Canada), ANZ (Australia and New Zealand), ASTH (Australasian Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis), SOMANZ (Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand), ATS/STR (American Thoracic Society/Society of Thoracic Radiology), EANM (European Association of Nuclear Medicine)


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