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The supporting role of CT in the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection and its cardiac complications

Dear readers,

The COVID-19 pandemic has struck the world like a storm, causing human tragedies, a shocking global health crisis and very serious socioeconomic problems.

With increasing knowledge on this novel infectious disease, an expanding evidence base has emerged not only about the involvement and injury of the respiratory system, but also about the occurrence of complications at several levels, including cardiovascular complications.

The impact of COVID-19 on the cardiovascular system and, in particular, its role in the occurrence of thromboembolic events is the topic of Prof. Loewe’s review proposed in this Newsletter, where the relevant contribution of CT angiography to the detection of the cardiovascular damage associated with COVID-19 is also highlighted. Moreover, the significant role of imaging examination based on CT for evaluating and monitoring the clinical course of COVID-19 and the related cardiac complications are widely illustrated in the selected literature. Finally, we propose once more a clinical case from China, which demonstrates that the high sensitivity of chest CT in the detection of lung abnormalities can help identify COVID-19 infection in suspected cases.

Suggestions for topics to be covered in future issues of this newsletter are welcome as usual. Please send your ideas to us at

From the team



Venous and arterial thromboembolic complications in COVID-19 patients

C. Loewe

In symptomatic patients with acute infection, the main COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, but a continuously increasing number of reports and investigations have revealed the occurrence of venous and arterial thromboembolic complications and their role in predicting the outcomes of COVID-19. CT imaging has demonstrated its value in detecting or ruling out these and other COVID-19-related systemic events.

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Yang W, Sirajuddin A, Zhang X et al. The role of imaging in 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19). Eur Radiol. 2020 Apr 15;1-9. doi: 10.1007/s00330-020-06827-4. Online ahead of print.

Bandyopadhyay D, Akhtar T, Hajra A et al. COVID‑19 pandemic: Cardiovascular complications and future implications. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2020 Jun 23;1-14. doi: 10.1007/s40256-020-00420-2. Online ahead of print.

Cerruti L, Boscaro F, Poletto F et al. Acute pulmonary embolism in COVID‑19 related hypercoagulability. J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2020 Jul;50(1):223-6.

Carotti M, Salaffi F, Sarzi-Puttini P et al. Chest CT features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) pneumonia: key points for radiologists. Radiol Med. 2020 Jul;125(7):636-46.