Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a common disease causing significant morbidity and mortality and results in substantial socioeconomic costs to health care systems worldwide. The correct diagnosis, however, poses many challenges. As a result, ongoing research continues to develop and refine new and existing diagnostic algorithms. In this article, we systematically compare and evaluate the available evidence and cost-effectiveness of diagnostic imaging approaches for patients with suspected PE using data in PubMed and EMBASE up to February 2012. The obtained data were systemically analyzed and presented on the basis of the obtained evidence. A cost-effectiveness analysis of imaging techniques or algorithms has been summarized, if available, in dedicated paragraphs for the major issues on diagnostic imaging of PE that are discussed in this article.
*Institute of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
†Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
U.J.S. is a consultant for and receives research support from Bayer-Schering, Bracco, General Electric, Medrad, and Siemens. The other authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.
Reprints: Thomas Henzler, MD, Institute of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, D-68167 Mannheim, Germany (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).