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Wheezing in patients with acute pulmonary embolism with and without previous cardiopulmonary disease

Calvo-Romero, Jose´ Mar´aı; Pe´rez-Miranda, Manuel; Bureo-Dacal, Pedro

European Journal of Emergency Medicine: December 2003 - Volume 10 - Issue 4 - p 288-289

Background: Wheezing is a little known but possible presentation feature of acute pulmonary embolism.

Patients and methods: A retrospective review of the records of 154 consecutive patients with acute pulmonary embolism, who survived long enough for diagnostic evaluation.

Results: Fourteen patients with acute pulmonary embolism (9.1%) had wheezing at presentation. Wheezing was more frequent in patients with previous cardiopulmonary disease than in those without previous cardiopulmonary disease, although this did not reach statistical significance (13.5 versus 6.9%; P=0.17). Dyspnoea, cough and respiratory failure were more frequent with statistical significance in our patients with wheezing than in those without wheezing. The hospital mortality rate was similar in both groups.

Conclusion: Wheezing in acute pulmonary embolism may be more frequent in patients with previous cardiopulmonary disease. However, wheezing also occurs in patients with acute pulmonary embolism without previous cardiopulmonary disease. Wheezing may be a sign of severity in acute pulmonary embolism.

Internal Medicine Service, Infanta Cristina University Hospital, Badajoz, Spain

Correspondence to Jose´ Marı´a Calvo Romero, He´roes de Cascorro 9, 3°-A, 06004 Badajoz, Spain.


© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.