DOI: 10.1182/blood-2023-188170 ISSN: 0006-4971

Accuracy of the Diagnosis of Subsegmental Pulmonary Embolism Among General Radiologists

Osama Batayneh, Ambreen Ijaz, Ahmad Toumar, Jessica Meek, Houda Abdelrahman, Stephanie Haddad, Taro Minami
  • Cell Biology
  • Hematology
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry


Diagnosis and treatment of subsegmental pulmonary embolism (SSPE) are challenging. Contrary to segmental PE, little is known about the accuracy of the diagnosis of SSPE


A retrospective matched cohort study was conducted at a university-affiliated community hospital. Computed tomographic angiography (CTAs) were reviewed from August 2018 to December 2021. Patients who were 18-year-old or older with the diagnosis of SSPE were included. Patients with a concurrent segmental PE or deep venous thrombosis (DVT) were excluded. Another radiologist reviewed each CTA.


Total of 43 patients with SSPE without segmental PE were identified. The mean age of subjects was 67 years. 24 (56%) patients were males, and 41 (95%) were white. 42 (97%) of CTAs were performed for suspected PE. One case was found incidentally. Forty patients (93%) received therapeutic anticoagulation. Three patients (7%) were discharged from the Emergency Department (ED) without therapeutic anticoagulation. The average duration of anticoagulation therapy was four-months. Another radiologist's review of the CTA on admission revealed a discordant diagnosis: 13 out of 43 (30%) cases were reported negative for SSPE. One case was reported for segmental PE


The accuracy of the diagnosis of SSPE is low as the discordance rate by different radiologists is high.More studies are needed to establish the diagnosis and guide treatment of SSPE.

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