Low Detection Rate of Pulmonary Embolism in Patients Presenting to the Emergency Department With Suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Single-Centre UK Study
Rubinder Birk, Dominick Shaw, Cheika Kennedy, Yutaro Higashi, Roma Patel, Ayushman Gupta, Iain Au-Yong
Curr Probl Diagn Radiol . Sep-Oct 2021;50(5):656-661. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2020.09.014. Epub 2020 Sep 23.
Purpose: Critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at increased risk of thrombosis. There are limited data on PE rates in COVID-19 patients at presentation to the emergency department (ED). In this study, we evaluated the detection rates of PE in patients presenting to the ED with suspected and proven COVID-19.
Methods: A single-centre retrospective study was undertaken of 285 consecutive patients undergoing CT pulmonary angiogram (CTPA) in the Emergency Department at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust in the United Kingdom between 25 March and 30 April 2020. At our institution, CTPA is performed in all patients undergoing CT for triage. The study group consisted of patients considered COVID-19 positive based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results and CTPA findings. The detection rate of PE in COVID-19 patients was compared to patients undergoing CTPA for suspected PE only and for suspected COVID-19 with no COVID CT findings and negative PCR (control group 1); and CTPAs prior to the coronavirus pandemic (control group 2).
Results: One of 48 patients in the study group had a PE (2%) compared to 25/215 (12%) in control group 1 and 10/50 (20%) in control group 2. Prevalence of PE in the study group was lower than in control group 1 (P = 0.058) and compared to control group 2 (P = 0.005). Eleven patients undergoing CTPA had negative PCR but positive CT for COVID-19.
Conclusion: Detection rate of pulmonary embolus is low in patients with COVID-19 undergoing CTPA on a triage pathway.
Read Full Article Here: https://doi.org/10.1067/j.cpradiol.2020.09.014