What atypical symptoms may be caused by pulmonary embolism (PE)?

Updated: Sep 18, 2020
  • Author: Daniel R Ouellette, MD, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Patients with pulmonary embolism may present with atypical symptoms. In such cases, strong suspicion of pulmonary embolism based on the presence of risk factors can lead to consideration of pulmonary embolism in the differential diagnosis. These symptoms include the following:

  • Seizures

  • Syncope

  • Abdominal pain

  • Fever

  • Productive cough

  • Wheezing

  • Decreasing level of consciousness

  • New onset of atrial fibrillation

  • Flank pain [1]

  • Delirium (in elderly patients) [2]

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