CT features of pulmonary embolism in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2023 May;27(9):4085-4097. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202305_32316.

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the Computed Tomography (CT) features of pulmonary embolism in patients hospitalized for acute COVID-19 pneumonia and to evaluate the prognostic significance of these features.

Patients and methods: This retrospective study included 110 consecutive patients who were hospitalized for acute COVID-19 pneumonia and underwent pulmonary computed tomography angiography (BTPA) on the basis of clinical suspicion. The diagnosis of COVID-19 infection was determined by CT findings typical of COVID-19 pneumonia and/or a positive result of a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test.

Results: Of the 110 patients, 30 (27.3%) had acute pulmonary embolism and 71 (64.5%) had CT features of chronic pulmonary embolism. Of the 14 (12.7%) patients who died despite receiving therapeutic doses of heparin, 13 (92.9%) had CT features of chronic pulmonary embolism and 1 (7.1%) of acute pulmonary embolism. CT features of chronic pulmonary embolism were more common in deceased patients than in surviving patients (92.9% vs. 60.4%, p=0.01, respectively). Low oxygen saturation and high urine microalbumin creatinine ratio at admission in COVID-19 patients are important determinants of mortality after adjusting for sex and age in logistic procedures.

Conclusions: CT features of chronic pulmonary embolism are common in COVID-19 patients undergoing Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography (CTPA) in the hospital. The coexistence of albuminuria, low oxygen saturation and CT features of chronic pulmonary embolism at admission in COVID-19 patients may herald fatal outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • COVID-19* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Embolism* / diagnostic imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed