Determine the rate of positive extremity ultrasound exams for DVT in patients with COVID-19 and assess for differences in laboratory values in patients with and without DVT, which could be used as a surrogate to decide the need for further evaluation with ultrasound.
Retrospective case control study with 1:2 matching of cases (COVID-19+ patients) to controls (COVID-19- patients) based on age, gender, and race. Laboratory values assessed were serum D-dimer, fibrinogen, prothrombin time, international normalized ratio, and C-reactive protein. Demographic variables, comorbidities, and clinical variables including final disposition were also evaluated. P-values for categorical variables were calculated with the chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test. P-values for continuous variables were compared with the use of a two-tailed unpaired t-test.
The rate of extremity ultrasound exams positive for DVT were similar in patients with (14.7%) and without (19.3%) COVID-19 (P = .423). No significant difference was observed in laboratory values including the D-dimer level in COVID-19 patients without (mean 9523.9 ng/mL (range 339 to >60,000)) or with DVT (mean 13,663.7 ng/mL (range 1193->60,000)) (P = .475). No differences were found in demographic variabilities or co-morbidities among COVID-19 patients with and without extremity DVT.
We found no statistically significant difference in rate of positive DVT studies between COVID-19+ and COVID-19- patients. D-dimer levels are elevated, in some cases markedly, in COVID-19 patients with and without DVTs and therefore these data do not support their use as a surrogate when assessing the need for ultrasound evaluation.

© 2021 American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.