Thrombolysis in acute nonmassive pulmonary embolism: potential role of multidetector-row spiral computed tomography in decision making

Gaetano Nucifora, Piero Pellegrini, Fjoralba Hysko, Raheleh Rashidi, Diran M. Igidbashian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the setting of suspected or confirmed nonmassive pulmonary embolism (PE), transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is an important tool to identify patients who could benefit from thrombolytic therapy, because of right ventricle (RV) dysfunction, and to monitor the dynamic response of the RV to reperfusion therapy. Unfortunately, certain patient characteristics such as obesity, lung disease, postsurgical state, or respiratory distress often lead to inadequate ultrasonographic imaging quality. In such patients, multidetector-row spiral computed tomography (MSCT) may become even more important. We present a female obese patient with acute nonmassive PE in whom TTE did not allow a reliable evaluation of the RV. Conversely, MSCT, beyond a direct demonstration of intravascular thrombi, detected multiple signs suggesting RV dysfunction. According to these findings, thrombolysis was safely performed, obtaining a rapid clinical improvement and a regression of RV dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-187
Number of pages4
JournalCardiovascular Revascularization Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Jul 2008


  • Multidetector-row spiral computed tomography
  • Nonmassive pulmonary embolism
  • Right ventricle dysfunction
  • Transthoracic echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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