The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 27, Issue 5, 730 - 735

A Pilot Study of Computed Tomography–Detected Asymptomatic Pulmonary Filling Defects After Hip and Knee Arthroplasties

Gandhi, Rajiv et al.
Hip Knee

We asked what the incidence of asymptomatic filling defects is on routine multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in primary hip (total hip arthroplasty [THA]) and knee arthroplasties (TKA) patients. We prospectively performed MDCT scans on the first postoperative day for THA (n = 21)/TKA (n = 27). Patients underwent routine postoperative care, and data were collected for symptoms such as tachycardia or shortness of breath. More patients undergoing TKA had positive computed tomography scans than those undergoing THA: 11 (41%) vs 1 (5%), respectively. All patients diagnosed with a filling defect were discharged from the hospital without treatment of symptomatic pulmonary embolism. Our study demonstrates a high rate of abnormal MDCT early after lower extremity arthroplasty, the clinical importance of which may be benign.

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