Pulmonary embolism and COVID-19
A high rate of pulmonary embolism is being found in hospital patients with COVID-19, according to research from France.
Pulmonary embolus in association with COVID-19 infection have been described in two research letters published online in Radiology.
The first team of French researchers found that out of 106 hospital patients classified as having COVID-19 infection who underwent pulmonary computed tomography (CT) angiography, 30 percent had positive findings for acute pulmonary embolus.
Also, D-dimer levels were higher in patients with COVID-19 infection and pulmonary embolus versus those without pulmonary embolus, and patients with COVID-19 infection and pulmonary embolus were more likely to be in the ICU.
A second French research team found that out of 100 hospitalised patients with COVID-19 infection and severe clinical features, 23 percent of the patients had acute pulmonary embolism when examined with contrast-enhanced CT.
The researchers also found that patients with pulmonary embolism were more frequently in the critical care unit, and they also were more likely to require mechanical ventilation.
“Our results suggest that patients with severe clinical features of COVID-19 may have associated acute pulmonary embolus,” the authors wrote. “Therefore, the use of contrast enhanced CT rather than routine non-contrast CT may be considered for these patients.”
Large-vessel stroke is also being reported as a presenting feature of COVID-19 in the young, according to a case report in The New England Medical Journal.
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