The relation between thrombus burden and early mortality risk in inpatients diagnosed with COVID-19-related acute pulmonary embolism: a retrospective cohort study

Ozden Sertcelik U., Ozkan E., Sertçelik A., Karalezli A.

BMC PULMONARY MEDICINE, vol.23, no.1, pp.1-10, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12890-023-02647-6
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-10
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Abstract Background COVID-19-related acute pulmonary thromboembolism (APE) is associated with poor outcomes in patients with COVID-19. There are studies investigating the association between thrombus burden and high risk of early mortality in the pre-COVID-19 period. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between clot burden and early mortality risk in COVID-19-related APE patients. Methods In this single-center retrospective cohort study, the data of hospitalized adult patients followed up for COVID-19-related APE between April 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, were electronically collected. A radiologist evaluated the computed tomography (CT) findings and calculated the Mastora scores to determine clot burden. The early mortality risk group of each patient was determined using 2019 the European Society of Cardiology guidelines. Results Of the 87 patients included in the study, 58 (66.7%) were male, and the mean age was 62.5±16.2 years. There were 53 (60.9%) patients with a low risk of mortality, 18 (20.7%) with an intermediate-low risk, and 16(18.4%) with an intermediate-high/high risk. The median total simplified Mastora scores were 11.0, 18.5, and 31.5 in the low, the intermediate-low, and the intermediate-high/high-risk groups, respectively (p = 0.002). With the 80.61% of post-hoc power of the study, intermediate-high/high early mortality risk was associated statistically significantly with the total simplified Mastora score (adj OR = 1.06, 95%CI = 1.02–1.11,p = 0.009). Total simplified Mastora score was found to predict intermediate-high/high early mortality risk with a probability of 0.740 (95% CI = 0.603–0.877): At the optimal cut-off value of 18.5, it had 75.0% sensitivity, 66.2% specificity, 33.3% positive predictive value, and 92.2% negative predictive value. Conclusions The total simplified Mastora score was found to be positively associated with early mortality risk and could be useful as decision support for the risk assessment in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Evaluation of thrombus burden on CT angiography performed for diagnostic purposes can accelerate the decision of close monitoring and thrombolytic treatment of patients with moderate/high risk of early mortality.