Saddle pulmonary embolism

Case contributed by Ian Bickle
Diagnosis certain


Acute shortness of breath. Raised D-dimer. PE?

Patient Data

Age: 61
Gender: Female

Thrombus straddling the pulmonary trunk.

Extensive lobar and segmental thrombi in both lungs, some of which, such as the right lower lobe pulmonary artery, demonstrate the 'polo mint' sign.

Lungs clear.

Case Discussion

Central pulmonary embolus which straddles (or saddles) the pulmonary trunk is termed a saddle embolus.  This reflects it symmetrical appearance like that of a saddle over a horses back.

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