An interesting paper published in the BMJ by Takeshita and others researched this issue.
Although several studies have reported an association between atherosclerotic related diseases and COVID-19, the relationship between COVID-19 severity and atherosclerosis progression remains unclear.
The aim of their study was to determine the coronary artery calcium score and prognostic value in patients with COVID-19 using indices such as deterioration in oxygenation and CT images of the chest.
This was a single centre retrospective study for 53 consecutive patients with
COVID-19 in Narita who were admitted to their hospital between March 2020 and August 2020.
Coronary artery calcium scoring was calculated based on the non-gated CT scans of the chest performed on admission day.
The patients were divided into two groups, those with a coronary artery calcium score greater than or equal to 180 and group two, those with a coronary artery calcium score less than 180.
The researchers performed a multivariable logistic regression analysis of the below:
- Smoking history
- Cholesterol levels
- Number of days from symptom onset to hospitalisation
- Coronary artery calcium score greater than or equal to 180
It revealed that unlike the coronary artery calcium score of less than 180, those with a coronary artery calcium score of greater or equal to 180 were associated with an exacerbation of oxygenation or CT images of the chest during hospitalisation.
They concluded that the coronary artery calcium score was a prognostic marker of COVID-19 severity.
They also suggested that although coronary artery calcification is not typically associated with pneumonia cases, it may provide a valuable clinical indicator for predicting severe COVID-19 outcomes.
The London General Practice, the leading Private London doctors’ clinic in Harley Street provides a full service for all aspects of COVID-19 infection from diagnosis to management to a multidisciplinary team for looking after patients with long COVID.
We also offer a full diagnostic service including:
They also perform a full annual health screening programme which involves predicting your cardiovascular risk and then if required, arranging for you to have a coronary artery calcium score performed.
Dr Paul Ettlinger
BM, DRCOG, FRCGP, FRIPH, DOccMed