The performance of chest CT in evaluating the clinical severity of COVID-19 pneumonia: identifying critical cases based on CT characteristics.

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The performance of chest CT in evaluating the clinical severity of COVID-19 pneumonia: identifying critical cases based on CT characteristics.

Invest Radiol. 2020 Apr 17;:

Authors: Lyu P, Liu X, Zhang R, Shi L, Gao J

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: To assess the clinical severity of COVID-19 pneumonia using qualitative and/or quantitative chest CT indicators and identify the CT characteristics of critical cases.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-one patients with COVID-19 pneumonia including ordinary cases (group A, n=12), severe cases(group B, n=15) and critical cases (group C, n=24) were retrospectively enrolled. The qualitative and quantitative indicators from chest CT were recorded and compared using Fisher's exact test, one-way ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis H test and receiver operating characteristic analysis.
RESULTS: Depending on the severity of the disease, the number of involved lung segments and lobes, the frequencies of consolidation, crazy-paving pattern and air bronchogram increased in more severe cases. Qualitative indicators including total severity score for the whole lung and total score for crazy-paving and consolidation could distinguish groups B and C from A(69% sensitivity, 83% specificity and 73% accuracy) but were similar between group B and group C. Combined qualitative and quantitative indicators could distinguish these three groups with high sensitivity(B+C vs. A, 90%; C vs. B, 92%), specificity(100%, 87%) and accuracy(92%, 90%). Critical cases had higher total severity score(>10) and higher total score for crazy-paving and consolidation(>4) than ordinary cases, and had higher mean lung density(>-779HU) and full width at half maximum(>128HU) but lower relative volume of normal lung density(≦50%) than ordinary/severe cases. In our critical cases, eight patients with relative volume of normal lung density smaller than 40% received mechanical ventilation for supportive treatment, and two of them had died.
CONCLUSION: A rapid, accurate severity assessment of COVID-19 pneumonia based on chest CT would be feasible and could provide help for making management decisions, especially for the critical cases.

PMID: 32304402 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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