Pulmonary embolism - saddle embolus

Case contributed by Jeremy Jones
Diagnosis certain


Shortness of breath and pleuritic chest pain.

Patient Data

Age: Middle-aged
Gender: Female

Note: This case has been tagged as "legacy" as it no longer meets image preparation and/or other case publication guidelines.

Large non-occlusive pulmonary embolus draped over the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery; a saddle pulmonary embolus.

Case Discussion

The large embolus draped over the pulmonary artery bifurcation is non-occlusive. However, the distal pulmonary artery branches were full of occlusive thrombus and right heart pressures were high.

The decision was made to thrombolyse based on radiological burden of clot, evidence of right heart strain and her clinical signs and symptoms.

She made a complete recovery following appropriate resuscitation and thrombolysis. Follow up confirmed a Factor V Leiden deficiency.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.