Rapid Test

An accurate diagnosis of pulmonary embolism can be difficult to establish. To our knowledge, there are no absolutely diagnostic clinical symptoms or signs. Laboratory tests such as electrocardiograms, chest roentgenograms, arterial blood gases, and serum en­zymes are often helpful but rarely diagnostic. Al­though lung scanning is a very sensitive test, its specificity can be low even when ventilation as well as perfusion imaging is performed. Pulmonary angi­ography, considered the gold standard for diagnosis, is not used routinely because of its morbidity and expense. Since the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism frequently requires expensive and invasive proce­dures, a simple and rapid blood test would be very useful.

Previously we reported the detection of circulating DNA in 83 to 88 percent of patients with pulmonary embolism. Three other groups of investigators have attempted to reproduce these findings, but only one group reported a high sensitivity (94 percent) for this test. To reexamine the diagnostic value of plasma DNA for acute pulmonary embolism, we compared DNA results with other tests in a large consecutive series of patients with suspected pulmonary embolism referred for lung scanning. vardenafil 20 mg