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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism?

Major Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE) include unexplained shortness of breath, problems breathing, chest pain, coughing, or coughing up blood. An arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) also may suggest that you have PE.

Sometimes the only signs and symptoms are related to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These include swelling of the leg or along a vein in the leg, pain or tenderness in the leg, a feeling of increased warmth in the area of the leg that's swollen or tender, and red or discolored skin on the affected leg.

See your doctor right away if you have any signs or symptoms of PE or DVT. It's also possible to have PE and not have any signs or symptoms.

Other Signs and Symptoms

Some people who have PE have feelings of anxiety or dread, light-headedness or fainting, rapid breathing, sweating, or an increased heart rate.

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Pulmonary Embolism Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Pulmonary Embolism, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.


Pulmonary Embolism in the News

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July 01, 2011 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.