Thoracic Research and Practice
Original Article

Assessing the Prevalence of Pulmonary Embolism and the Clot Burden in Hospitalized Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbation


Department of Radiology, Hillcrest Hospital, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA


Islamic Azad University School of Medicine, Shahroud, Iran


Department of Radiology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran


Biostatistical Analyzer, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

Thorac Res Pract 2024; 25: 57-61
DOI: 10.5152/ThoracResPract.2024.23097
Read: 310 Downloads: 87 Published: 08 February 2024

OBJECTIVE: This prospective cohort study aimed to assess the pulmonary embolism (PE) rate and clot burden in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 248 patients entered the study, and their clinical probability of PE was assessed using the Geneva score. Patients with high clinical probability underwent computed tomographic pulmonary angiography, while those with low or intermediate probability underwent a d-dimer test.

RESULTS: Among the patients analyzed, 14 individuals (5.6%) were confirmed to have PE using computed tomographic pulmonary angiography. A 3-month follow-up revealed 3 cases of PE out of 232 patients initially deemed PE-free. Mortality rates were higher among patients with venous thromboembolism at admission than those diagnosed with PE during follow-up. Pulmonary embolism (PE) prevalence among patients with COPD exacerbation was 5.6%.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study show the importance of screening for PE in patients with COPD presenting with dyspnea. Not all of them are due to COPD exacerbation; a small minority of them can be due to PE, which needs prompt screening, confirmation, and therapy. However, further research with larger cohorts is required to understand better the potential benefits and implications of systematic screening for pulmonary embolism in this specific patient population.

Cite this article as: Akhoundi N, Amirbakhtiarvand M, Goli M, Naseri Z, Siami A. Assessing the prevalence of pulmonary embolism and the clot burden in hospitalized patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation. Thorac Res Pract. 2024;25(2):57-61.

EISSN 2979-9139