CHEST: More High-Risk Emboli for PE Presenting With Syncope

Presentation with syncope linked to large, high-risk emboli; more likely in recent air travelers

MONDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with pulmonary embolism (PE) who present to the emergency department with syncope are more likely to have a high-risk, large embolism, with a chief complaint of syncope significantly more common in those with recent airline travel, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held from Oct. 20 to 25 in Atlanta.

To examine whether there were common findings among patients with PE who present to the emergency department with syncope, Robert P. Rifenburg, M.D., and Jeffrey Kovlar, M.D., of Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago, conducted a five-year, retrospective medical record review of 674 cases of PE, of which 126 were excluded because they were not diagnosed by computed tomography or were missing medical records.

The researchers found that, of the 548 PE cases, the average patient age was 68.9 years, and 41.6 percent were men. In this group, 10 percent of patients presented to the emergency department with syncope as their main complaint. For patients with PE, syncope was a significantly more common chief complaint after recent airline travel (48 versus 8.1 percent). Compared with those who did not present with syncope, the syncope group exhibited significantly more nonspecific ST-T wave changes, sinus tachycardia, S1Q3T3 abnormality, saddle emboli, and ventricular hypertrophy diagnosed on echocardiography.

"Fainting may be an atypical symptom of PE, but fainting associated with recent air travel is a dangerous combination," Rifenburg said in a statement.

More Information

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Debunking Three Rape Myths
Journal of Forensic Nursing, October/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95

Drug updates and approvals: 2014 in review
The Nurse Practitioner, 13December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:3 $27.95

Can Food Processing Enhance Cancer Protection?
Nutrition Today, September/October 2014
Expires: 10/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events