Date of this Version
Warpechowski, J.; Olichwier, A.; Golonko, A.; Warpechowski, M.; Milewski, R. Literature Review—Transthoracic Echocardiography, Computed Tomography Angiography, and Their Value in Clinical Decision Making and Outcome Predictions in Patients with COVID-19 Associated Cardiovascular Complications. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20, 6123. https://doi.org/10.3390/ ijerph20126123
The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic posed a great threat to the world’s healthcare systems. It resulted in the development of new methods and algorithms for the diagnosis and treatment of both COVID-19 and its complications. Diagnostic imaging played a crucial role in both cases. Among the most widely used examinations are transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and computed tomography angiography (CTA). Cardiovascular complications in COVID-19 are frequently associated with a severe inflammatory response, which results in acute respiratory failure, further leading to severe complications of the cardiovascular system. Our review aims to discuss the value of TTE and CTA in clinical decision making and outcome prediction in patients with COVID-19-associated cardiovascular complications. Our review revealed the high clinical value of various TTE findings and their association with mortality and the prediction of patients’ clinical outcomes, especially when used with other laboratory parameters. The strongest association between increased mortality and findings in TTE was observed for tachycardia and decreased left ventricular ejection fraction (odds ratio (OR) 24.06) and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion/pulmonary artery systolic pressure ratio (TAPSE/PASP ratio) < 0.31 mm/mmHg (OR 17.80). CTA is a valuable tool in diagnosing COVID-19-associated pulmonary embolism, but its association with mortality and its predictive role should always be combined with laboratory findings and patients’ medical history. D-dimers > 3000 ng/mL were found as the strongest predictors of pulmonary embolism (PE) (OR 7.494). Our review indicates the necessity for an active search for cardiovascular complications in patients with severe COVID-19, as they are linked with an increased probability of fatal outcomes.