Chest Computed Tomography Findings in COVID-19 and Influenza: A Narrative Review

Link to article at PubMed

Onigbinde SO, et al. Biomed Res Int 2020 - Review.


OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic and annual influenza epidemic are responsible for thousands of deaths globally. With a similarity in clinical as well as laboratory findings, there is a need to differentiate these two conditions on chest CT scan. This paper attempts to use existing literature to draw out differences in chest CT findings in COVID-19 and influenza.

METHODS: A search was conducted using PubMed. 17 original studies on chest CT findings in COVID-19 and influenza were identified for full-text review and data analysis. Findings. COVID-19 and influenza share similar chest CT findings. The differences found show that COVID-19 ground-glass opacities are usually peripherally located with the lower lobes being commonly involved, while influenza has a central, peripheral, or random distribution usually affecting the five lobes. Vascular engorgement, pleural thickening, and subpleural lines were reported in COVID-19 patients. In contrast, pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax were reported only in studies on influenza. Conclusion and Relevance. COVID-19 and influenza have overlapping chest CT features with few differences which can assist in telling apart the two pathologies. Additional studies are needed to further define the differences and degree between COVID-19 and influenza.

PMID:32596354 | PMC:PMC7275219 | DOI:10.1155/2020/6928368

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