Delayed Diagnosis in Pulmonary Embolism: Frequency, Patient Characteristics, and Outcome.

Mansella, Gregory; Keil, Christoph; Nickel, Christian H; Eken, Ceylan; Wirth, Christian; Tzankov, Alexandar; Peterson, Caspar Joyce; Aujesky, Drahomir; Bingisser, Roland (2020). Delayed Diagnosis in Pulmonary Embolism: Frequency, Patient Characteristics, and Outcome. Respiration, 99(7), pp. 589-597. Karger 10.1159/000508396

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BACKGROUND

The incidence and the outcomes of pulmonary embolism (PE) missed during emergency department (ED) workup are largely unknown.

OBJECTIVES

To describe the frequency, demographics, and outcomes of patients with delayed diagnosis of PE.

METHODS

We retrospectively compared patients diagnosed with PE during ED workup (early diagnosis) with patients diagnosed with PE thereafter (delayed diagnosis). Electronic health records (EHR) of 123,560 consecutive patients who attended a tertiary hospital ED were screened. Data were matched with radiology and pathology results from the EHR.

RESULTS

Of 1,119 patients presenting to the ED with early workup for PE, PE was diagnosed in 182 patients (80.5%) as early diagnosis. Delayed diagnosis was established in 44 cases (19.5%) using radiology and/or autopsy data. Median age of patients with early diagnosis was significantly lower as compared to delayed diagnosis (67 vs. 77.5 years). Main symptoms were dyspnea (109 patients [59.9%] in early, 20 patients [45.5%] in delayed diagnosis), chest pain (90 patients [49.5%] in early, 8 patients [18.2%] in delayed diagnosis), and nonspecific complaints (16 patients [8.8%] in early, 13 patients [29.5%] in delayed diagnosis). In-hospital mortality was 1.6% in early diagnosis and 43.2% in delayed diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS

Delayed diagnosis of PE carries a worse prognosis than early diagnosis. This discrepancy may arise from either delayed therapy, confounding variables (e.g., older age), or both. Possible reasons for delayed diagnoses are nonspecific presentations and symptoms overlapping with preexisting conditions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine > Centre of Competence for General Internal Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Aujesky, Drahomir

ISSN:

0025-7931

Publisher:

Karger

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christine Baumgartner

Date Deposited:

25 Aug 2020 08:43

Last Modified:

28 Aug 2020 01:33

Publisher DOI:

10.1159/000508396

PubMed ID:

32694258

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Characteristics Delayed diagnosis Mortality Pulmonary embolism

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146020

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146020

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