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- The majority of pulmonary embolisms (PEs) arise from thrombi in the deep veins of the lower extremities and pelvis.
- Thrombi also originate in renal and upper extremity veins.
- After traveling to lungs, the size of the thrombus determines signs and symptoms.
- Most patients with PE have identifiable risk factor:
- Recent surgery
- Previous deep vein thrombosis (DVT)/PE
- Stroke or recent paraplegia
- Age >50 yr
- Oral contraceptives
- Major trauma
- Hematologic risk factors:
- Factor 5 Leiden
- Protein C or S deficiency
- Antithrombin III deficiency
- Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome
- Lupus anticoagulant
- Thromboembolic disease is quite rare.
- Risk factors in children:
- Presence of central venous catheter
- Heart disease
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