Lung and kidney perfusion deficits diagnosed by dual-energy computed tomography in patients with COVID-19-related systemic microangiopathy.

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İDİLMAN İ. S., Dizman G., Duzgun S. A., IRMAK İ., KARÇAALTINCABA M., İNKAYA A. Ç., ...More

European radiology, vol.31, pp.1090-1099, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00330-020-07155-3
  • Journal Name: European radiology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1090-1099
  • Keywords: COVID-19, Computed tomography angiography, Lung, Pulmonary embolism, CT, COAGULOPATHY
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives There is increasing evidence that thrombotic events occur in patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We evaluated lung and kidney perfusion abnormalities in patients with COVID-19 by dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) and investigated the role of perfusion abnormalities on disease severity as a sign of microvascular obstruction. Methods Thirty-one patients with COVID-19 who underwent pulmonary DECT angiography and were suspected of having pulmonary thromboembolism were included. Pulmonary and kidney images were reviewed. Patient characteristics and laboratory findings were compared between those with and without lung perfusion deficits (PDs). Results DECT images showed PDs in eight patients (25.8%), which were not overlapping with areas of ground-glass opacity or consolidation. Among these patients, two had pulmonary thromboembolism confirmed by CT angiography. Patients with PDs had a longer hospital stay (p = 0.14), higher intensive care unit admission rates (p = 0.02), and more severe disease (p = 0.01). In the PD group, serum ferritin, aspartate aminotransferase, fibrinogen, D-dimer, C-reactive protein, and troponin levels were significantly higher, whereas albumin level was lower (p < 0.05). D-dimer levels >= 0.485 mu g/L predicted PD with 100% specificity and 87% sensitivity. Renal iodine maps showed heterogeneous enhancement consistent with perfusion abnormalities in 13 patients (50%) with lower sodium levels (p = 0.03). Conclusions We found that a large proportion of patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 had PDs in their lungs and kidneys, which may be suggestive of the presence of systemic microangiopathy with micro-thrombosis. These findings help in understanding the physiology of hypoxemia and may have implications in the management of patients with COVID-19, such as early indications of thromboprophylaxis or anticoagulants and optimizing oxygenation strategies.