Evaluation of abdominal computed tomography findings in patients with COVID-19: a multicenter study

Creative Commons License

ONUR M. R., ÖZBAY Y., İdilman İ., KARAOSMANOĞLU A. D., Uysal Ramadan S., BARLIK F., ...More

Diagnostic and interventional radiology (Ankara, Turkey), vol.29, no.3, pp.414-427, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.4274/dir.2022.221575
  • Journal Name: Diagnostic and interventional radiology (Ankara, Turkey)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.414-427
  • Keywords: abdomen, abdominal aorta, arteriosclerosis, computed tomography, COVID-19
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


PURPOSE: To evaluate the frequency of abdominal computed tomography (CT) findings in patients with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and interrogate the relationship between abdominal CT findings and patient demographic features, clinical findings, and laboratory test results as well as the CT atherosclerosis score in the abdominal aorta. METHODS: This study was designed as a multicenter retrospective study. The abdominal CT findings of 1.181 patients with positive abdominal symptoms from 26 tertiary medical centers with a positive polymerase chain-reaction test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 were reviewed. The frequency of ischemic and non-ischemic CT findings as well as the association between CT findings, clinical features, and abdominal aortic calcific atherosclerosis score (AA-CAS) were recorded. RESULTS: Ischemic and non-ischemic abdominal CT findings were detected in 240 (20.3%) and 328 (27.7%) patients, respectively. In 147 patients (12.4%), intra-abdominal malignancy was present. The most frequent ischemic abdominal CT findings were bowel wall thickening (n = 120; 10.2%) and perivascular infiltration (n = 40; 3.4%). As for non-ischemic findings, colitis (n = 91; 7.7%) and small bowel inflammation (n = 73; 6.2%) constituted the most frequent disease processes. The duration of hospital stay was found to be higher in patients with abdominal CT findings than in patients without any positive findings (13.8 ± 13 vs. 10.4 ± 12.8 days, P < 0.001). The frequency of abdominal CT findings was significantly higher in patients who did not survive the infection than in patients who were discharged after recovery (41.7% vs. 27.4%, P < 0.001). Increased AA-CAS was found to be associated with a higher risk of ischemic conditions in abdominal CT examinations. CONCLUSION: Abdominal symptoms in patients with COVID-19 are usually associated with positive CT findings. The presence of ischemic findings on CT correlates with poor COVID-19 outcomes. A high AA-CAS is associated with abdominal ischemic findings in patients with COVID-19.