Clinical Presentation of Venous Thromboembolism

The clinical presentation of PE is challenging. Many cases are clinically silent (66%) with only 30% having the clinical features of a DVT (Garcia-Fuster et al. 2014). Asymptomatic PE is discovered in 70% of patients with confirmed clinically symptomatic DVT (Browse 1974; Corrigan et al. 1974; Hull & Hirsh 1983). Clinically, pulmonary embolus presents with tachycardia, tachypnea and signs of pulmonary infarction with consolidation, hemoptysis, pleuritic chest pain, pleural friction rub, pleural effusion and fever (Worku et al. 2014). Massive PE may cause right heart failure, which can progress to cardiovascular collapse, coma and death.