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.
- Multidetector-row spiral computed tomography
- Nonmassive pulmonary embolism
- Right ventricle dysfunction
- Transthoracic echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine