A multi-center study published in Radiology reported that pulmonary embolism was found in 25% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who underwent chest CT or perfusion scintigraphy, commonly known as a nuclear stress test. Pulmonary embolism was predicted with 100% sensitivity by D-dimer test, a blood test that can be used to help rule out the presence of a serious blood clot.
Researchers analyzed electronic medical records from 413 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between March 3 and June 5, 2020. Pulmonary embolism was diagnosed in 102 patients by CT or perfusion scintigraphy. The rate of acute pulmonary embolism was greater in men and smokers by 74% and 86%, respectively, but not significantly different between intensive care unit (ICU) patients (21/73, 29%) and non-ICU (81/340, 24%) patients.
Chest CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) studies were performed on 64 or 256 slice scanners with breath hold and contrast injection. Perfusion scintigraphy studies were performed with 4mC Technetium 99m macro-aggregated albumin using either spect-CT or multiple planar imaging systems.
The authors noted that their high incidence rate of PE in hospitalized patients may reflect that the multicenter cohort were on the severe end of the disease spectrum. However, they observed no excess mortality in the cohort when the pulmonary embolism was detected and treated.Back To Top
Study: One-quarter of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients had Pulmonary Embolism. Appl Radiol.