The study sought to determine the frequency of nonthromboembolic imaging abnormalities in pregnant women referred for computed tomography pulmonary arteriography (CTPA). CTPA studies on 100 consecutive pregnant women performed over a 5-year period were reviewed independently by 2 radiologists, with conflicts resolved by consensus. Age range was 18-43 years (mean 28 years). The presence or absence of pulmonary embolism and of nonthromboembolic imaging abnormalities was recorded. These were graded as A if the abnormalities were thought to provide potential alternative explanations for acute symptoms, B if findings were incidental that required clinical or radiologic follow-up, and C if the findings did not require further action. Pulmonary embolism was seen in 5 women. In 2 of these additional findings of consolidation and infarction were seen. Ninety-five women did not have pulmonary embolism. Eleven women (12%) had grade A abnormalities; 6 cases of consolidation, 2 cases of lobar collapse, and 3 cases of heart failure with pleural effusions. One woman had a grade B abnormality due to the presence of pulmonary nodules. Ten women had incidental grade C abnormalities. Pulmonary embolism occurs in 5% of pregnant women referred for CTPA. In pregnant women without embolism on CTPA, potential alternative causes for patient symptoms are seen on CT in 12% of cases.
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