[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE) still requires long work-up periods and multiple tests. OBJECTIVE: We aim to assess clinical outcomes after a negative investigation using a combined protocol of CT pulmonary angiography and CT venography (CTA/CTV) as a sole diagnostic test in unselected patients with suspected PE. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study enrolled consecutive patients with suspected PE who were investigated with a combined CTA/CTV protocol. Patients who had an initially negative investigation and were not anticoagulated were followed for 6 months for the occurrence of recurrent venous thromboembolic events. RESULTS: Out of 425 patients with suspected PE, 62 (14.6%) had venous thromboembolism diagnosed on the initial CTA/CTV. The mean age was 56 ± 19 years and 61% of the population fell into the low clinical probability category. Isolated deep vein thrombosis represented 21% of all venous thromboembolic events, and when considering the whole population, CTV was associated with an increment in diagnostic yield of 3.1%. Our cohort was composed of 320 patients with initially negative CTA/CTVs and who were not anticoagulated. After 6 months of follow up, only three patients presented with recurrent thromboembolic events (0.9%; 95% CI -0.1% - 2.0%) and none was fatal. There were no PE-related deaths. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that a diagnostic strategy that utilizes CTA/CTV as a sole diagnostic test can safely rule out PE in a low to moderate risk population and is associated with favorable outcomes with a negative predictive value of 99.1%. (Arq Bras Cardiol. 2012; [online].ahead print, PP.0-0).