OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 pneumonia, caused by the virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), was declared a pandemic by the WHO on 11th March 2020. While Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) represents the diagnostic gold standard of infection, computed tomography (CT) has been shown to have an important role in supporting the diagnosis, quantifying the severity, and assessing the efficacy of treatment and its response. Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is a CT finding that estimates atherosclerosis and can be quantified using the coronary artery calcium score (CACS). The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the correlation between coronary artery calcification and mortality rate in COVID-19 patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Three hundred seventeen (317) hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were ruled in this retrospective study. All patients underwent a non-ECG-gated chest CT to evaluate lung parenchymal involvement. In the same cohort, we observed the two main coronary arteries (common trunk, circumflex, anterior interventricular and right coronary heart) using a visual score, so patients were divided into four groups based on Ordinal CAC Score (OCS) levels.
RESULTS: The multivariate analysis proved that the OCS value was statistically correlated with the mortality rate (p < 0.001). In fact, in the group of patients with an OCS value of 0, the mortality rate was 10.1% (10/99 patients), in the group with OCS between 1 and 4 was 18.9% (21/111), in the OCS group of patients ranged from 5 to 8 was 30.4% (24/79) and in the OCS group between 9 and 12 was 46.4% (13/28).
CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that calcific atheromasia of the coronary arteries in patients with COVID-19 can be considered a prognostic marker of clinical outcome.Free PDF Download
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N. Maggialetti, A. Torrente, P. Lazzari, I. Villanova, P. Marvulli, R. Maresca, C. Paparella, N.M. Lucarelli, A. Sardaro, V. Granata, A. Scardapane, A.A. Stabile Ianora
Coronary calcifications as a new prognostic marker in COVID-19 patients: role of CT
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 27 - N. 5