Brachial venous pressure measurement for diagnosis of pulmonary embolism
A.R. Todini, D. Pergolini, M. Morucci, V. D’Andrea, M.L. Paiella, V. Cantisani, F. Biancari
Background. Imaging methods for diagnosis of pulmonary embolism
(PE) are not available at small medical or rural centres as well as
during night time. Herein, we evaluated the diagnostic value of brachial
venous pressure measurement in the diagnosis of PE in patients with
deep vein thrombosis. Materials and Methods. One-hundred and fifty consecutive
patients with deep vein thrombosis and suspected PE were prospectively
evaluated by measuring brachial vein pressure by CW Doppler.
Diagnosis of PE was made by computed tomography angiography and
pulmonary angiography. Results. Seventy-one patients (47.3%) had PE. A significant correlation
was observed between brachial venous pressure and systolic
pulmonary artery pressure (sPAP) estimated at echocardiography
(rho 0.922, p<0.0001) as well as with invasively measured sPAP (rho
0.965, p<0.0001). Brachial venous pressure was significantly higher
in the PE group (38.5 vs. 13.9 mmHg, p<0.0001) and was associated
with increased extent of PE (p<0.0001). A cut-off of brachial venous
pressure >15 mmHg had a sensitivity of 100%, a specificity of 77%
and a negative likelihood ratio of 0.0%. A cut-off of brachial venous
pressure > 19 mmHg had a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 100%
as no patient with PE had a brachial venous pressure below 20 mmHg,
and no patients without PE had a venous pressure above this value.
Conclusions. Brachial venous pressure may assist in the diagnosis
of PE at bed-side in patients with deep vein thrombosis. Further studies
are needed to confirm the validity and reliability of this method. Clin
Ter 2012; 163(5):e287-291
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