Incidental cardiovascular findings on chest CT scans requested for suspected COVID-19

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Abstract

Background: Computed tomography scans of the chest are often requested as a complementary examination to investigate a clinical suspicion of pulmonary disease caused by the novel coronavirus 19 (COVID-19). Objectives: Our objective was to analyze the prevalence of incidental cardiovascular findings on chest CT scans requested to assess radiological signs suggestive of COVID-19 infection. Methods: This cross-sectional, descriptive, and retrospective study reviewed 1,444 chest tomographies conducted in the Radiology department of the Hospital de Clínicas Gaspar Vianna, from March 1 to July 30, 2020, describing the prevalence of images suggestive of viral pneumonia by COVID-19 and incidental pulmonary and cardiovascular findings. Results: The mean age of the patients was 50.6 ± 16.4 years and female sex was more frequent. Computed tomography without contrast was the most frequently used method (97.2%). Aortic and coronary wall calcification and cardiomegaly were the most prevalent cardiovascular findings. CT angiography revealed aortic aneurysms (9.7%), aortic dissection (7.3%) and thoracic aortic ulcers (2.4%). Conclusions: Incidental cardiovascular findings occurred in about half of the chest CT scans of patients with suspected COVID-19, especially aortic calcifications, cardiomegaly, and coronary calcification.

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Dos Reis, J. M. C., Melo, G. D. S., de Oliveira, M. V., Fernandez, M. M., da Silva, T. M. M. F., Ferreira, H. L. da S., & de Andrade, M. C. (2021). Incidental cardiovascular findings on chest CT scans requested for suspected COVID-19. Jornal Vascular Brasileiro, 20. https://doi.org/10.1590/1677-5449.210052

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