Clin Radiol. 2021 Mar 31:S0009-9260(21)00197-5. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2021.03.014. Online ahead of print.
AIM: To compare the incidence of pulmonary embolism (PE) in COVID-19 pneumonia and non-COVID-19-related community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in hospitalised patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective case-control study was conducted. This included patients hospitalised with pneumonia and investigated for suspected PE with computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (CTPA). Cases were defined as patients with COVID-19 pneumonia from 1 March 2020 to 17 May 2020; controls were patients with CAP from 5 July 2019 to 31 January 2020. The primary outcome was to determine the risk of developing PE in both groups. Multivariable logistic regression was used to calculate the adjusted odds ratio for PE.
RESULTS: One hundred and forty-four patients were included; 72 cases (47% male; mean age 59 (±15) years), and 72 controls (56% male; mean age 58 (±20) years). PE was diagnosed in 23.6% of the cases versus 6.9% of the controls. The adjusted odds ratio for PE in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 pneumonia compared with those with CAP was 3.23 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-10.04, p=0.04).
CONCLUSION: The odds of developing PE in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 pneumonia are three-times higher than in those with CAP. The results provide a quantitative assessment of the risk of PE in COVID-19 pneumonia, a condition new to healthcare, compared to other forms of pneumonia with a well-established scientific basis.