CT imaging of acute pulmonary embolism

Thomas Henzler, J. Michael Barraza, John Nance, Philip Costello, Radko Krissak, Christian Fink, U. Joseph Schoepf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) has become the de facto clinical " gold standard" for the diagnosis of acute pulmonary embolism (PE) and has replaced catheter pulmonary angiography and ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy as the first-line imaging method. The factors underlying this algorithmic change are rooted in the high-sensitivity and specificity, cost-effectiveness, and 24-hour availability of CTPA. In addition, CTPA is superior to other imaging methods in its ability to diagnose and exclude, in a single examination, a variety of diseases that mimic the symptoms of PE. This article reviews the current role of CTPA in the diagnosis of acute PE as well as more recent developments, such as the use of CT parameters of right ventricular dysfunction for patient prognostication and the assessment of lung perfusion with CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cardiovascular computed tomography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Computed tomography
  • Outcome studies
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pulmonary perfusion
  • Pulmonary thromboembolism
  • Right heart failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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