Pulmonary Embolism in Adolescents

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To clarify the epidemiology of pulmonary embolism in adolescents, a retrospective analysis of adolescent admissions to a general hospital over a 15-year period was performed. Eighteen patients had 19 episodes of pulmonary embolism, an incidence of 78 per 100 000 hospitalized adolescents. There were twice as many female as male patients. Common complaints were chest pain, dyspnea, cough, and hemoptysis. Common findings were hypoxemia and deep-vein thrombosis. Major risk factors were oral contraceptive use and elective abortion in 75% of female patients and trauma in 67% of male patients. Unlike its effect in adults, pulmonary embolism is rarely fatal in adolescents. Although clinical features in adolescents are similar to those in adults, there is a high incidence of both overdiagnosis and underdiagnosis. The early use of pulmonary arteriography in difficult diagnostic situations is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-671
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Diseases of Children
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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