Pulmonary Embolism


(Depending on size)

  • A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one or more arteries of the lungs. In most cases, it is caused by clots that travel to the lungs from another part of the body, most commonly from a DVT in a lower extremity.
  • Depending on the size of the embolus, it can occlude the main pulmonary artery, straddle the arterial bifurcation, or dis- seminate out into the smaller branching arteries of the lungs.
  • Saddle embolisms are frequently fatal, while embolic showers can be clinically silent unless they block enough of the pulmonary vasculature.