What is a Pulmonary Embolism?

Cardiovascular health affects more than your heart. Your entire body depends on blood flowing effectively though your veins and arteries. Everything is connected.Man wearing a white t-shirt clutching both hands to his chest.

Thanks to advances in imaging technology, it is possible to detect and diagnose cardiovascular concerns. One such form of detection is the cardiovascular computed tomography angiogram.

Your doctor may recommend a CCT angiogram in order to determine if your coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked in any way. It also helps diagnose certain conditions such as coronary artery disease, aneurysms, and, of course, pulmonary embolism.

What is a pulmonary embolism?

This happens when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to an artery in your lungs. Typically, the blood clot begins in the deep vein in your leg, known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A pulmonary embolism takes place when the blood clot breaks away and travels to the lungs. It is possible for the clot to form in a vein located elsewhere in the body, but this is rare.

While a blood clot is the most common cause of a pulmonary embolism, the blockage can also result from other elements such as air bubbles, part of a tumor, or fat from the inside of a broken long bone.

Is a pulmonary embolism serious?

The short answer is yes. A pulmonary embolism is life threatening because it blocks the flow of blood to the lungs.

What are the symptoms of pulmonary embolism?

The primary symptoms of this condition include:

  • Sharp chest pain, especially when breathing or coughing
  • Fainting caused by a drop in heart rate or blood pressure
  • Sudden shortness of breath

Additional symptoms associated with pulmonary embolism are:

  • A bloody cough
  • Clammy or discolored skin
  • Unexplained sweating
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Fever
  • Leg pain and/or swelling, typically in the back of the lower leg
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, seek emergency medical attention right away. ImageCare Radiology provides CCT angiogram in New Jersey to diagnose pulmonary embolism as well as other heart conditions. Stay on top of your heart health by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and enjoying life as much as possible.