Diagnosing Pulmonary Embolism
Spiral Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
A spiral CT scan is a special type of x-ray that takes pictures of structures inside the body. Your doctor will inject a dye into a vein, which will allow him or her to see the blood vessels in the lungs. This is a very quick test and results are available shortly after the scan is completed.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI is a test that shows pictures of organs and structures inside the body. An MRI uses radio waves to make the image. In many cases, an MRI can provide information that would not show up on an x-ray.
An echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to check for blood clots inside the heart and to check heart function. It can also determine other possible causes for your symptoms.
A D-dimer is a blood test that measures a substance in the blood that is released when a clot breaks up. High levels may indicate a clot. However, if your test is normal, a pulmonary embolism is not likely.