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Clinical manifestations and pulmonary histopathological analysis related to different diseases in patients with fatal pulmonary thromboembolism: an autopsy study

Authors Ruppert ADP, Soeiro A, de Almeida MCF, de Oliveira Jr MT, Serrano Jr CV, Capelozzi VL

Received 13 August 2013

Accepted for publication 21 November 2013

Published 10 March 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 15—21

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OAEM.S52891

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Aline Domingos Pinto Ruppert,1 Alexandre de Matos Soeiro,2 Maria Carolina Feres de Almeida,2 Múcio Tavares de Oliveira Jr,2 Carlos V Serrano Jr,2 Vera Luiza Capelozzi1

1Department of Pathology, 2Heart Institute, University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil

Background: To correlate underlying diseases, in autopsies of patients with pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) to histological findings and manifestations reviewed in the medical records.
Methods: The autopsy records between 2001 and 2008 of 291 patients whose cause of death was PTE were reviewed. The following data were obtained: age, sex, clinical “in vivo” manifestations, postmortem pathological patterns, and main associated underlying diseases, cancers, and surgeries performed in the last hospitalization. The pulmonary histopathological changes were categorized as diffuse alveolar damage, pulmonary edema, alveolar hemorrhage, and lymphoid interstitial pneumonia. Odds ratios of positive relations were obtained by logistic regression and were considered significant when P<0.05.
Results: The median age was 64 years old. About 64% of patients presented cardiovascular illness associated with PTE. The most prevalent pulmonary finding was pulmonary edema. Only 13% of cases had clinical suspicion of PTE. Acute respiratory failure was positively related to pulmonary edema, alveolar hemorrhage, and diffuse alveolar damage as well as hemodynamic instability to alveolar hemorrhage and diffuse alveolar damage.
Conclusion: We found important relations between clinical data and histological findings of patients with fatal PTE. A greater understanding of the pulmonary physiopathological mechanisms involved with each disease associated to PTE could improve its diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: pulmonary embolism, autopsy, pathology, acute respiratory failure, pulmonary edema, fatal

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