Pulmonary Vascular Manifestations of COVID-19 Pneumonia

Link to article at PubMed

Radiol Cardiothorac Imaging. 2020 Jun 18;2(3):e200277. doi: 10.1148/ryct.2020200277. eCollection 2020 Jun.


PURPOSE: To investigate pulmonary vascular abnormalities at CT pulmonary angiography (CT-PE) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective study, 48 patients with reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 infection who had undergone CT-PE between March 23 and April 6, 2020, in a large urban health care system were included. Patient demographics and clinical data were collected through the electronic medical record system. Twenty-five patients underwent dual-energy CT (DECT) as part of the standard CT-PE protocol at a subset of the hospitals. Two thoracic radiologists independently assessed all studies. Disagreement in assessment was resolved by consensus discussion with a third thoracic radiologist.

RESULTS: Of the 48 patients, 45 patients required admission, with 18 admitted to the intensive care unit, and 13 requiring intubation. Seven patients (15%) were found to have pulmonary emboli. Dilated vessels were seen in 41 cases (85%), with 38 (78%) and 27 (55%) cases demonstrating vessel enlargement within and outside of lung opacities, respectively. Dilated distal vessels extending to the pleura and fissures were seen in 40 cases (82%) and 30 cases (61%), respectively. At DECT, mosaic perfusion pattern was observed in 24 cases (96%), regional hyperemia overlapping with areas of pulmonary opacities or immediately surrounding the opacities were seen in 13 cases (52%), opacities associated with corresponding oligemia were seen in 24 cases (96%), and hyperemic halo was seen in 9 cases (36%).

CONCLUSION: Pulmonary vascular abnormalities such as vessel enlargement and regional mosaic perfusion patterns are common in COVID-19 pneumonia. Perfusion abnormalities are also frequently observed at DECT in COVID-19 pneumonia and may suggest an underlying vascular process.Supplemental material is available for this article.© RSNA, 2020.

PMID:34036264 | PMC:PMC7307217 | DOI:10.1148/ryct.2020200277

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