Pulmonary Embolism

What is Pulmonary Embolism?

  • Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blockage of blood vessels supplying the lungs (pulmonary artery) due to blood clot.
  • These blood clots arise from deep veins of lower leg or thigh or arm (Deep vein thrombosis aka DVT).
  • This leads to decreased blood flow to the lungs, decreased oxygen levels that can potentially be dangerous and life-threatening.
Pulmonary Embolism
Pulmonary Embolism

What are the Consequences of Pulmonary Embolism?

  • Most PE cases are not diagnosed, hence not treated.
  • DVT precedes PE which itself may not be diagnosed. Symptomatic DVT presents with the swollen limb.
  • DVT can lead to PE and consequent death in up to 70% of cases.

What are the causes of pulmonary embolism?

What increases the risk of developing Pulmonary Embolism?

  • Recent surgeries of the spinal cord, hip or knee
  • DVT
  • Carcinoma treated with chemotherapy
  • Chronic lung or cardiac disease(Heart failure)
  • Blood clotting disorder
  • Brain stroke
  • History of venous catheterization
  • Prolonged immobility due to patient who is older age, bedridden, recent major surgery or intensive care unit.
  • Medications containing estrogen-like Oral contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapy
  • Obesity
  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • Smoking
Pulmonary Embolism CT 1
Pulmonary Embolism CT 2
Pulmonary Embolism CT 3
Pulmonary Embolism CT 4

What are the symptoms of pulmonary embolism?

  • Breathlessness
  • Palpitations
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Giddiness and sudden loss of consciousness
  • Coughing up blood

What are the complications of pulmonary embolism?

  • Despite modern therapies for 8-10% affected by pulmonary embolism die.
  • Pulmonary hypertension: Increased blood pressure in the lungs and right side of the heart.
  • In rare conditions, fragmented blood clots get deeply deposited in medium to small-sized blood vessels leading to chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH).

How is pulmonary embolism diagnosed?

  • CT pulmonary angiogram: Definitive test that identifies blood clots in pulmonary arteries as well as the severity of the problem.
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Venous duplex ultrasound: the test is to identify blood clots in the deep vein
  • Blood tests: D-Dimer test
  • Chest X-ray
  • Medical history
  • Physical examination

How is pulmonary embolism prevented?

Non-pharmacological treatment:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid standing/sitting for a long duration
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Use compression stockings to prevent DVT (Deep vein thrombosis)
  • Quit smoking
  • Regular exercise
  • Do not take over the counter drugs without suggestion from your doctor. 

Pharmacological treatment:

  • Anticoagulation therapy (Heparin, warfarin, enoxaparin or fondaparinux) is the first-line treatment for acute PE to dissolve the clot.
  • Although anticoagulants are the first-line therapy for PE, some patients may get benefit from added therapy like clot-buster drugs (thrombolysis or fibrinolysis) if they fulfil the following criteria

1) Evidence of moderate to severe right ventricle injury

2) Evidence of respiratory or circulatory insufficiency in PE patients

  • Thrombolytic agents (streptokinase, urokinase, tissue plasminogen activator) prescribed for breaking the clots through a catheter (Catheter-directed thrombolysis).
  • Thrombus aspiration using Penumbra technology.
  • Embolectomy: This surgery used a flexible tube to remove embolus in the artery or vein.

What is the uniqueness of treatment of pulmonary embolism by Dr C Raghu?

Dr Raghu and team use new technology, Penumbra, for thrombus aspiration after identifying the location and size of the thrombus and remove the clot with higher success rate and symptoms improve.

Our Specialities

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    Call us now if you are in a medical emergency need, we will reply swiftly and provide you with a medical aid.

    Dr. Raghu | Heart Specialist in Hyderabad
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