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Thromboembolic Disease : Can Echocardiography Assist Management?

Edwin J.R. van Beek, MD, FRCR
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Sheffield, UK 
 ,  Dr. van Beek is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in the Section of Academic Radiology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Correspondence to: Edwin J.R. van Beek, Section of Academic Radiology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Rd, Sheffield S10 2JF; e-mail: e.vanbeek@sheffield.ac.uk



Chest. 2000;118(4):888-889. doi:10.1378/chest.118.4.888
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Despite the widespread use of thromboprophylaxis in high-risk situations, pulmonary embolism (PE) remains one of the most common life-threatening disorders. In fact, the prevalence of detected postmortem PE has not diminished during the last 3 decades.1 It has been estimated that, despite adequate therapy with heparin and oral anticoagulants, between 0.5% and 1.0% of patients (or up to 100,000 individuals per year in the United States) will develop chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) following a (first) pulmonary embolic event.23 The exact cause for this is unknown, although factors such as adequacy of clot resolution, the influence of inherited thrombophilia, or disorders in the fibrinolytic system all may play roles. Only a small minority of these patients may be identified at the onset of the condition, and adaptation of the therapeutic approach may help avoid the development of CTEPH in these patients.

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