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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dyspnea in an Otherwise Healthy 18-year-old: The Importance of Point-of-care Ultrasonography


A healthy 18-year-old male presented to the emergency department with chest pain, palpitations, and dyspnea. His exam was unremarkable; however, point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) revealed right ventricular strain with a D-sign and enlarged right ventricle. He subsequently reported a history of factor V Leiden. His D-dimer was markedly elevated, and a computed tomography angiogram of the chest demonstrated submassive pulmonary embolism (PE). He was taken to the catheterization lab for directed thrombolysis and was discharged in good condition two days later. Factor V Leiden is the most common genetic cause of venous thromboembolism. POCUS can facilitate rapid diagnosis and risk stratification of patients with acute PE.

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