PrEdictive value of coMbined pre-test proBability and blOod gas anaLysis In pulmonary emboliSM—the EMBOLISM study


In patients with suspected pulmonary embolism (PE), the number of unnecessary computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) scans remains high, especially in patients with low pre-test probability (PTP). So far, no study showed any additional benefit of capillary blood gas analysis (BGA) in diagnostic algorithms for PE. In this retrospective analysis of patients with suspected PE and subsequent CTPA, clinical data, D-dimer levels and BGA parameters (including standardized PaO2) were analyzed. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify independent predictors for PE and reduce unnecessary CTPA examinations in patients with low PTP according to Wells score. Of 1538 patients, PE was diagnosed in 433 patients (28.2%). The original Wells score (odds ratio: 1.381 [95% CI 1.300–1.467], p < 0.001) and standardized PaO2 (odds ratio: 0.987 [95% CI 0.978–0.996], p = 0.005) were independent predictors for PE. After cohort adjustment for low PTP a D-dimer cut-off < 1.5 mg/L (278 patients (18.1%) with 18 PE (6.5%)) was identified in which a standardized PaO2 > 65 mmHg reduced the number of unnecessary CTPA by 31.9% with a 100% sensitivity. This approach was further validated in additional 53 patients with low PTP. In this validation group CTPA examinations were reduced by 32.7%. No patient with PE was missed. With our novel algorithm combining BGA testing with low PTP according to Wells score, we were able to increase the D-Dimer threshold to 1.5 mg/L and reduce CTPA examinations by approximately 32%.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternal and Emergency Medicine
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2245-2252
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 11.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Centers: Cardiological Center Luebeck (UHZL)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-12 Cardiology, Angiology

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