Pulmonary Thromboembolism in COVID-19 Patients on CT Pulmonary Angiography - A Single-Centre Retrospective Cohort Study in the United Arab Emirates

Author(s): Ghufran Aref Saeed, Waqar H Gaba, Abd Al Kareem Adi, Reima Al Marshoodi, Safaa Al Mazrouei, Asad R Shah


Our aim is to identify the prevalence and distribution of pulmonary thromboembolism in COVID-19 infected patients in our hospital. Materials and


Data of all patients with COVID-19 infection either on RT-PCR testing or non-contrast high resolution CT(HRCT) who had CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) from April to June 2020 were included. 133 patients were initially included in the study, 7 were excluded leaving a total number of 126 patients.


Twenty (15.8%) patients had evidence of pulmonary embolism (PE) on CTPA with mean age of 50 years (ranging 31-85) with 95% males. The mean D-dimer was 5.61mcg/mL among the PE-negative and 14.49 mcg/mL in the PE-positive groups respectively. Among the patients with evidence of pulmonary embolism on CTPA almost half required admission to intensive care unit in comparison to only one-fifth with negative CTPA. One-fourth died among the PE positive group with only 5% died among the PE negative group. There was a 33% reduction in the development of PE in the COVID-19 patients who had received low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) prior to their CTPA study versus those who had not.


D dimers correlate well with the incidence of pulmonary embolism among COVID-19 patients. Our data suggest that majority of our patients, developed pulmonary embolisms within 5 days into their hospital stay, accounting to almost two thirds of all positive cases diagnosed by CTPA. Those with PE among COVID-19 patients have high chances of ICU admission and mortality. Use of thromboprophylaxis early on might reduce the incidence of PE.

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