AIM: To compare the incidence of pulmonary embolism (PE) in COVID-19 pneumonia and non-COVID-19-related community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in hospitalised patients . MATERIALS AND
METHODS: A retrospective case-control study was conducted . This included patients hospitalised with pneumonia and investigated for suspected PE with computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (CTPA). Cases were defined as patients with COVID-19 pneumonia from 1 March 2020 to 17 May 2020; controls were patients with CAP from 5 July 2019 to 31 January 2020 . The primary outcome was to determine the risk of developing PE in both groups . Multivariable logistic regression was used to calculate the adjusted odds ratio for PE .
RESULTS: One hundred and forty-four patients were included; 72 cases (47% male; mean age 59 (±15) years), and 72 controls (56% male; mean age 58 (±20) years). PE was diagnosed in 23.6% of the cases versus 6.9% of the controls . The adjusted odds ratio for PE in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 pneumonia compared with those with CAP was 3.23 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-10.04, p=0.04).
CONCLUSION: The odds of developing PE in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 pneumonia are three-times higher than in those with CAP . The results provide a quantitative assessment of the risk of PE in COVID-19 pneumonia, a condition new to healthcare, compared to other forms of pneumonia with a well-established scientific basis.