COMPARISON OF 128-SLICE SPIRAL COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY PULMONARY ANGIOGRAPHY (CTPA) FINDINGS WITH PLASMA D-DIMER LEVELS IN PATIENTS WITH CLINICAL SUSPICION OF PULMONARY EMBOLISM
Objective: To compare the effectiveness of plasma D-dimer levels with findings of 128-slice spiral computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) in patients with clinical suspicion of pulmonary embolism.
Study Design: Retrospective observational study
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Computed Tomography, Armed Forces Institute of Radiology & Imaging, Pak Emirates Military Hospital Rawalpindi, from Jan 2018 to Dec 2018.
Methodology: A total of 59 patients were inducted who presented in Emergency Department, Pak Emirates Military Hospital Rawalpindi with clinical suspicion of Pulmonary Embolism. The main symptoms were shortness of breath and chest pain. Plasma D-dimer levels of all patients were sent to laboratory and CTPA was performed at Computed Tomography department, Armed Forces Institute of Radiology & Imaging using 128-slice spiral computed tomography.
Results: 36 patients (61%) were males and 23 (39%) were females with an average age of 48.03 ± 18.06 years (range 23-85 years). Out of 59 patients, D-dimer levels were raised in 28 cases (47.4%) while 31 patients (52.6%) showed normal levels. Pulmonary Embolism was detected by CTPA in 30 cases (50.8%) while 29 patients (49.2%) were without obvious abnormality.
Conclusion: Plasma D-Dimer levels show low sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value and cannot exclude Pulmonary Embolism without CTPA. Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography (CTPA) remains diagnostic modality of choice for definitive assessment of Pulmonary Embolism in patients reporting at the emergency reception.