Pulmonary embolism in hospitalized COVID-19 patients: Short- and long-term clinical outcomes

Inge H.Y. Luu, Jacqueline Buijs, Jasenko Krdzalic, Martijn D. de Kruif, Guy J.M. Mostard, Hugo ten Cate, Tom P.J. Dormans, Remy L.M. Mostard, Math P.G. Leers, Daan J.L. van Twist*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a frequent complication in COVID-19. However, the influence of PE on the prognosis of COVID-19 remains unclear as previous studies were affected by misclassification bias. Therefore, we evaluated a cohort of COVID-19 patients whom all underwent systematic screening for PE (thereby avoiding misclassification) and compared clinical outcomes between patients with and without PE. Materials and methods: We included all COVID-19 patients who were admitted through the ED between April 2020 and February 2021. All patients underwent systematic work-up for PE in the ED using the YEARS-algorithm. The primary outcome was a composite of in-hospital mortality and ICU admission. We also evaluated long-term outcomes including PE occurrence within 90 days after discharge and one-year all-cause mortality. Results: 637 ED patients were included in the analysis. PE was diagnosed in 46 of them (7.2%). The occurrence of the primary outcome did not differ between patients with PE and those without (28.3% vs. 26.9%, p = 0.68). The overall rate of PE diagnosed in-hospital (after an initial negative PE screening in the ED) and in the first 90 days after discharge was 3.9% and 1.2% respectively. One-year all-cause mortality was similar between patients with and without PE (26.1% vs. 24.4%, p = 0.83). Conclusions: In a cohort of COVID-19 patients who underwent systematic PE screening in the ED, we found no differences in mortality rate and ICU admissions between patients with and without PE. This may indicate that proactive PE screening, and thus timely diagnosis and treatment of PE, may limit further clinical deterioration and associated mortality in COVID-19 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100142
JournalThrombosis Update
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical outcomes
  • COVID-19
  • Pulmonary embolism


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