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Prevalence of PE Low for Patients Presenting to ER With Syncope

Last Updated: January 29, 2018.

For patients presenting to the emergency department with syncope, the prevalence of pulmonary embolism is low, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

MONDAY, Jan. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For patients presenting to the emergency department with syncope, the prevalence of pulmonary embolism (PE) is low, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Giorgio Costantino, M.D., from the Università degli Studi di Milano in Italy, and colleagues conducted a retrospective observational study and examined longitudinal administrative data from five databases in four different countries. The authors examined the prevalence of PE among 1,671,944 unselected adults who presented to the emergency department with syncope.

Based on administrative data, the researchers found that the prevalence of PE varied from 0.06 to 0.55 percent for all patients and from 0.15 to 2.1 percent for hospitalized patients. At 90 days of follow-up, PE prevalence varied from 0.14 to 0.83 percent for all patients and from 0.35 to 2.63 percent for hospitalized patients. At 90 days, the prevalence of venous thromboembolism varied from 0.3 to 1.37 percent for all patients and from 0.75 to 3.86 percent for hospitalized patients.

"Pulmonary embolism was rarely identified in patients with syncope," the authors write. "Although PE should be considered in every patient, not all patients should undergo evaluation for PE."

One author disclosed financial ties to Medtronic.

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