We hypothesized that late pulmonary dead space fraction (Fdlate) would be a useful tool to screen for pulmonary embolism (PE) in a group of surgical patients, including patients who required mechanical ventilation and patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome.
We prospectively calculated Fdlate in patients with suspected PE who underwent pulmonary angiography.
University-based, level I trauma center.
Main Outcome Measure
Ability of Fdlate to identify patients with PE.
Twelve patients had 14 angiograms for suspected PE. The Fdlate was 0.12 or above in all 5 patients who had PE; 4 required mechanical ventilation. The Fdlate values were below 0.12 in 8 of 9 patients without PE. Four patients had adult respiratory distress syndrome. The Fdlate had 100% sensitivity and 89% specificity for the detection of PE.
The Fdlate is a valuable tool for bedside screening of PE in surgical patients. We were able to accurately detect all PEs.