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Ther Adv Hematol ; 12: 20406207211048364, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582496


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 patients present with both elevated D-dimer and a higher incidence of pulmonary embolism (PE). This single-centre retrospective observational study investigated the prevalence of early PE in COVID-19 patients and its relation to D-dimer at presentation. METHODS: The study included 1038 COVID-19-positive patients, with 1222 emergency department (ED) attendances over 11 weeks (16 March to 31 May 2020). Computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (CTPA) for PE was performed in 123 patients within 48 h of ED presentation, of whom 118 had D-dimer results. The remaining 875 attendances had D-dimer performed. RESULTS: CTPA performed in 11.8% of patients within 48 h of ED presentation confirmed PE in 37.4% (46/123). Thrombosis was observed at all levels of pulmonary vasculature with and without right ventricular strain. In the CTPA cohort, patients with PE had significantly higher D-dimer, prothrombin time, C-reactive protein, troponin, total bilirubin, neutrophils, white cell count and lower albumin compared with non-PE patients. However, there was no difference in the median duration of inpatient stay or mortality. A receiver operator curve analysis demonstrated that D-dimer could discriminate between PE and non-PE COVID-19 patients (area under the curve of 0.79, p < 0.0001). Furthermore, 43% (n = 62/145) of patients with D-dimer >5000 ng/ml had CTPA with PE confirmed in 61% (n = 38/62), that is, 26% of >5000 ng/ml cohort. The sensitivity and specificity were related to D-dimer level; cutoffs of 2000, 3000, 4000, and 5000 ng/ml, respectively, had a sensitivity of 93%, 90%, 90% and 86%, and a specificity of 38%, 54%, 59% and 68%, and if implemented, an additional 229, 141, 106 and 83 CTPAs would be required. CONCLUSION: Our data suggested an increased PE prevalence in COVID-19 patients attending ED with an elevated D-dimer, and patients with levels >5000 ng/ml might benefit from CTPA to exclude concomitant PE.

BMJ Open ; 10(11): e042946, 2020 11 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913770


OBJECTIVES: To identify the diagnostic accuracy of common imaging modalities, chest X-ray (CXR) and CT, for diagnosis of COVID-19 in the general emergency population in the UK and to find the association between imaging features and outcomes in these patients. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of electronic patient records. SETTING: Tertiary academic health science centre and designated centre for high consequence infectious diseases in London, UK. PARTICIPANTS: 1198 patients who attended the emergency department with paired reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) swabs for SARS-CoV-2 and CXR between 16 March and 16 April 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Sensitivity and specificity of CXR and CT for diagnosis of COVID-19 using the British Society of Thoracic Imaging reporting templates. Reference standard was any RT-PCR positive naso-oropharyngeal swab within 30 days of attendance. ORs of CXR in association with vital signs, laboratory values and 30-day outcomes were calculated. RESULTS: Sensitivity and specificity of CXR for COVID-19 diagnosis were 0.56 (95% CI 0.51 to 0.60) and 0.60 (95% CI 0.54 to 0.65), respectively. For CT scans, these were 0.85 (95% CI 0.79 to 0.90) and 0.50 (95% CI 0.41 to 0.60), respectively. This gave a statistically significant mean increase in sensitivity with CT of 29% (95% CI 19% to 38%, p<0.0001) compared with CXR. Specificity was not significantly different between the two modalities.CXR findings were not statistically significantly or clinically meaningfully associated with vital signs, laboratory parameters or 30-day outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: CT has substantially improved diagnostic performance over CXR in COVID-19. CT should be strongly considered in the initial assessment for suspected COVID-19. This gives potential for increased sensitivity and considerably faster turnaround time, where capacity allows and balanced against excess radiation exposure risk.

COVID-19/diagnosis , Emergency Service, Hospital , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Propensity Score , Radiography, Thoracic/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Data Management , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
Clin Pract Cases Emerg Med ; 4(3): 299-303, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-761067


INTRODUCTION: There is recent evidence that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection results in a prothrombotic state that may increase the risk of venous thromboembolism. Both COVID-19 infection and pulmonary emboli can present with dyspnoea, tachypnoea, hypoxaemia and an elevated D-dimer. Identifying a pulmonary embolus in a patient with COVID-19 and differentiating it from the typical clinical and biochemical features of COVID-19 is challenging. CASE REPORTS: We report four cases, and reviewed two further cases in the literature, of a pulmonary embolus in patients who presented to the emergency department with COVID-19 and no other risk factor for a pulmonary embolus. CONCLUSION: We identified a series of atypical features that should raise suspicion for a pulmonary embolus: pleuritic chest pain; haemoptysis; atrial fibrillation; tachycardia; hypotension; late onset deterioration; evidence of right heart strain; or a disproportionally elevated D-dimer in comparison to ferritin.