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.