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PISAPED criteria for diagnosis of pulmonary embolus

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 28 May 2021

The PISAPED criteria for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolus indicate the presence or absence of pulmonary emboli based on findings on perfusion scintigraphy (only the Q portion of the V/Q scan) in combination with chest radiography. The criteria were validated in the Prospective Investigative Study of Acute Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis, abbreviated to PISAPED 1. Compared to perfusion-only modified PIOPED II interpretation criteria, PISAPED is simpler, eliminates non-diagnostic readings, and may have higher interobserver agreement 2.


Pulmonary embolism present
  • one or more wedge-shaped perfusion defects
Pulmonary embolism absent

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