What are the signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE)?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Daniel R Ouellette, MD, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Physical signs of pulmonary embolism include the following:

  • Tachypnea (respiratory rate >16/min): 96%

  • Rales: 58%

  • Accentuated second heart sound: 53%

  • Tachycardia (heart rate >100/min): 44%

  • Fever (temperature >37.8°C [100.04°F]): 43%

  • Diaphoresis: 36%

  • S3 or S4 gallop: 34%

  • Clinical signs and symptoms suggesting thrombophlebitis: 32%

  • Lower extremity edema: 24%

  • Cardiac murmur: 23%

  • Cyanosis: 19%


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