AIM: To provide imaging data and report associations between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis (TB) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in a South African population that underwent computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) for suspected PE.
METHODS: A validated Qanadli severity scoring system for PE was used for 164 CTPA scans, and parenchymal, pleural and cardiovascular complications were reported. Serological confirmation of HIV testing and microbiological confirmation of TB were recorded.
RESULTS: Prevalence of PE in the CTPA population was 26% (95% CI: 19.67-33.65%). HIV-positive prevalence in patients with PE was 67% (95% CI: 48.17-82.04%), however it was not statistically significantly different when compared with the patients without PE (p = 1). HIV-positive patients had more extensive partial thrombus in the right middle lobe (p = 0.045), but no other differences when compared with HIV-negative patients. TB prevalence in patients with PE was 57% (95% CI: 34.49-76.81%). This was statistically significantly different when compared with the patients without PE (p = 0.073 at the 10% level). Prevalence of TB co-morbidity in the HIV-positive group with proven PE was 71% (95% CI: 41.90- 91.61%), however there was no statistically significant difference in comparison with the HIV-negative patients with TB and PE (p= 0.305).
CONCLUSION: The high number of patients presenting for CTPA who were HIV infected (and also infected with TB) highlights that PE evaluation should include severity/extent of the disease, as these patients may have more severe disease in specific lung lobes. The use of a validated scoring system, such as the Qanadli score, when reporting PE may have a profound effect on patient risk stratification, management and prognosis and would also provide a system for collecting larger volumes of data for analysis.
- Journal Article