COVID-19 Pulmonary Embolism Often Seen Outside the ICU
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Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) was common in COVID-19 cases, often in obese patients and in those not sick enough to require critical care, an observational study in Journal Radiology showed.

PE turned up in 22% of 328 patients who got pulmonary CT angiography for PCR test-positive COVID-19 at the Henry Ford Health System's hospitals in Detroit from March 16 to April 18.

Notably, 51% of the PE cases were diagnosed in the emergency department and 72% overall were diagnosed in patients who did not require intensive care unit (ICU) level care.

While the overall PE rate was in line with the 23% to 30% rate in other studies within computed tomography (CT) angiography-tested populations with COVID-19, the proportion of non-ICU cases was "in sharp contrast to a recently published study highlighting PE to be associated with ICU admission and mechanical ventilation," researchers wrote.

"These results suggest that even patients who do not have severe enough illness to qualify for ICU care can develop acute pulmonary embolism," the researchers concluded.