Acute pulmonary embolism in childhood

C Heleen Van Ommen, Marjolein Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Pulmonary embolism is an uncommon, but potentially fatal disease in children. Most children with pulmonary embolism have underlying clinical conditions, of which the presence of a central venous catheter is the most frequent. The clinical presentation is often subtle, or masked by the underlying clinical condition. Diagnostic as well as therapeutic strategies for pulmonary embolism in children are mostly extrapolated from studies in adults. Pulmonary angiography is still the gold standard in diagnosing pulmonary embolism, but several other radiographic tests can be used to diagnose pulmonary embolism, including ventilation-perfusion lung scanning, helical computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and echocardiography. The choice of treatment depends on the clinical presentation of the patient. Anticoagulation is the mainstay of therapy for children with pulmonary embolism. However, thrombolytic therapy can be considered for patients with hemodynamic instability. The outcome of pediatric pulmonary embolism is uncertain and needs to be studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-25
Number of pages13
JournalThrombosis Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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