What tests may be performed?


What tests may be performed?


A blood test that will look to see if any blood clots are being formed or broken down in your body. This is one of the most common tests. It is quick and simple and can be helpful to “exclude” PE.

Risk Scoring

A series of questions which a doctor can use to identify your possibility for pulmonary embolism. Questions include items such as:

if you’ve had surgery in the previous 4 weeks

if you’ve had a cancer in the last 6 months

if you’ve had previous clots

if your heart rate is abnormal

Venous duplex ultrasound

An ultrasound that scans your veins to look for blood clots.  This is one of the most common tests as many clots in the lungs (PE) come from clots in the legs that travel through the heart and into the lungs.

Advanced imaging tests to determine if you have had a pulmonary embolism

Computed tomography pulmonary angiography – combines the use of X-rays and a special dye to provide detailed pictures of the blood vessels in the lungs

Pulmonary ventilation/perfusion scan (lung scan) – involves two scans to measure circulation of air and blood flow in the lungs.

Pulmonary angiography – is a more invasive test using a dye injected into your lungs though a vein to see how blood flows through the lungs and confirm the diagnosis of PE.  This test is less frequently used.

Other tests – may include a chest x-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), and echocardiogram (ultrasound of your heart).