How is a Pulmonary Embolism diagnosed?
If a VQ scan does not identify a clot, but one is still suspected, a pulmonary angiogram is performed. A catheter is threaded through a vein in the groin, passed through the heart, and into the pulmonary artery. Contrast dye is then injected and X-rays are taken to monitor the blood flow in the lung. The angiogram will give a definite diagnosis as to the presence of a clot. Occasionally, an echocardiogram will show abnormalities in heart function, particularly in the right ventricle, as it meets resistance in pumping blood into the lungs. Learn more about PE diagnosis.