Pulmonary Embolism: Symptoms Make an Appointment Refer a Patient Ask a Question Reviewed by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (August 01, 2009) Signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE) include unexplained shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing, or coughing up blood. An arrhythmia (a rapid or irregular heartbeat) also may indicate PE. In some cases, the only signs and symptoms are related to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These include swelling of the leg or along the 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. Sometimes people who have PE experience feelings of anxiety or dread, lightheadedness or fainting, rapid breathing, sweating, or an increased heart rate. It's also possible to have a PE and not have any signs or symptoms of PE or DVT. See your doctor at once if you have any symptoms of PE or DVT. Pulmonary Embolism: Causes Pulmonary Embolism: Diagnosis Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.