Cardiovascular findings on chest computed tomography associated with COVID-19 adverse clinical outcomes

Link to article at PubMed

Am Heart J Plus. 2021 Nov;11:100052. doi: 10.1016/j.ahjo.2021.100052. Epub 2021 Oct 13.


STUDY OBJECTIVE: Chest computed tomography (chest CT) is routinely obtained to assess disease severity in COVID-19. While pulmonary findings are well-described in COVID-19, the implications of cardiovascular findings are less well understood. We evaluated the impact of cardiovascular findings on chest CT on the adverse composite outcome (ACO) of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: 245 COVID-19 patients who underwent chest CT at Rush University Health System were included.

DESIGN: Cardiovascular findings, including coronary artery calcification (CAC), aortic calcification, signs of right ventricular strain [right ventricular to left ventricular diameter ratio, pulmonary artery to aorta diameter ratio, interventricular septal position, and inferior vena cava (IVC) reflux], were measured by trained physicians.

INTERVENTIONS/MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: These findings, along with pulmonary findings, were analyzed using univariable logistic analysis to determine the risk of ACO defined as intensive care admission, need for non-invasive positive pressure ventilation, intubation, in-hospital and 60-day mortality. Secondary endpoints included individual components of the ACO.

RESULTS: Aortic calcification was independently associated with an increased risk of the ACO (odds ratio 1.86, 95% confidence interval (1.11-3.17) p < 0.05). Aortic calcification, CAC, abnormal septal position, or IVC reflux of contrast were all significantly associated with 60-day mortality and major adverse cardiovascular events. IVC reflux was associated with in-hospital mortality (p = 0.005).

CONCLUSION: Incidental cardiovascular findings on chest CT are clinically important imaging markers in COVID-19. It is important to ascertain and routinely report cardiovascular findings on CT imaging of COVID-19 patients as they have potential to identify high risk patients.

PMID:34667971 | PMC:PMC8511552 | DOI:10.1016/j.ahjo.2021.100052

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