Saddle pulmonary embolism (PE) is defined as the presence of a visible thromboembolus that straddles the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery. It occurs in about 2–5% of all PE cases [
]. Visualization of saddle PE on a Computed Tomography (CT) scan causes alarm among physicians due to the possibility of a large clot burden and impending hemodynamic collapse. However, recent studies have challenged this reflexive assumption, along with the assumption that clot burden predicts outcomes [
- Ryu J.H.
- Pellikka P.A.
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- Aughenbaugh G.L.
Saddle pulmonary embolism diagnosed by CT angiography: frequency, clinical features and outcome.
Respir. Med. 2007; 101: 1537-1542
- Furlan A.
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- Roberts M.S.
- Bae K.T.
Short-term mortality in acute pulmonary embolism: clot burden and signs of right heart dysfunction at CT pulmonary angiography.
Radiology. 2012; 265: 283-293
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- Saddle pulmonary embolism diagnosed by CT angiography: frequency, clinical features and outcome.Respir. Med. 2007; 101: 1537-1542
- Short-term mortality in acute pulmonary embolism: clot burden and signs of right heart dysfunction at CT pulmonary angiography.Radiology. 2012; 265: 283-293
- HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD2009–2011 (Available at: www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/nisoverview.jsp. Accessed June 15, 2014)
- Computerized tomographic finding of saddle pulmonary embolism is associated with high mortality in cancer patients.Intern. Med. J. 2010; 40: 293-299
- The impact of saddle embolism on the major adverse event rate of patients with non-high-risk pulmonary embolism.Br. J. Radiol. 2013; 86: 20130273https://doi.org/10.1259/bjr.20130273
Published online: November 25, 2014
Accepted: November 23, 2014
Received: November 19, 2014
© 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.