Should you treat a subsegmental pulmonary embolism (PE) with anticoagulation?

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Abstract

CASE

A 73-year-old man with a history of tobacco abuse was admitted for a fall and altered mental status. Further history revealed a recent unexplained 30-pound weight loss. The patient denied cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, or leg swelling. Vital signs showed a blood pressure of 143/87 mmHg, heart rate of 81 bpm, and an oxygen saturation of 96% on room air. A contrastenhanced computed tomography (CT) scan of his chest, abdomen, and pelvis for evaluation revealed a left lower lobe subsegmental pulmonary artery filling defect. Should this patient with an incidental subsegmental pulmonary embolism (SSPE) be treated with anticoagulation?

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