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ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 14
Clinical research

Pregnancy as a predictor of deviations from the recommended diagnostic pathway in women with suspected pulmonary embolism: ZATPOL registry data

Anna Fijałkowska, Ewa Szczerba, Grzegorz Szewczyk, Anna Budaj-Fidecka, Janusz Burakowski, Bożena Sobkowicz, Alicja Nowowiejska-Wiewióra, Grzegorz Opolski, Adam Torbicki, Marcin Kurzyna, ZATPOL Registry Investigators

Arch Med Sci 2018; 14, 4: 838–845
Online publish date: 2017/10/20
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Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a leading cause of mortality in pregnancy and a great diagnostic challenge. Deviations from the recommended diagnostic pathway in suspected PE contribute to greater mortality in the general population. The deviations from the guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) for diagnosis of PE were analyzed, with particular emphasis on pregnant women with suspected PE.

Material and methods
ZATPOL is a prospective national registry including data of all patients with suspected PE admitted to 86 Polish cardiology departments between January 2007 and September 2008. We analyzed diagnostic pathways used in all 2015 patients (mean age: 67 ±15 years, 60% women) with suspected PE. Detailed analysis included diagnostic pathways used in 12 pregnant patients and 85 non-pregnant women in childbearing age.

Pregnancy was the strongest predictor of deviations from the recommended diagnostic pathway in the whole study group (HR = 4.0, 95% CI: 1.28–12.5, p = 0.02). Pregnant patients did not differ significantly from non-pregnant women in most risk factors and symptoms of PE, and diagnostic tests used in this condition. Deviations from the recommended diagnostic pathway were found in 7 (58%) and 36 (42%) pregnant and non-pregnant women, respectively (p = 0.297), and the preliminary diagnosis of PE was eventually confirmed in 42% and 67% of the patients, respectively (p = 0.086).

Despite the lack of significant differences in PE symptomatology in pregnant and non-pregnant women, pregnancy seems to be the strongest predictor of deviations from the diagnostic pathway recommended in PE by the ESC. Further studies are required to evaluate the adherence to current guidelines in pregnant women.


pulmonary embolism, pregnancy, diagnosis, registry

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