Fu Z, et al. Sci Rep 2020.
The objective of this study is to expound the CT features of COVID-19 patients whose throat swab samples were negative for two consecutive nucleic acid tests after treatment. We retrospectively reviewed 46 COVID-19 patients with two consecutive negative RT-PCR tests after treatment. The cases were divided into moderate group and severe/critical group according to disease severity. Clinical and CT scanning data were collected. CT signs of pulmonary lesions and the score of lung involvement were expounded. Thirty-nine moderate cases and seven severe/critical cases were included. Residual pulmonary lesions were visible in CT images. Moderate patients showed peripheral lesions while severe/critical cases exhibited both central and peripheral lesions with all lobes involvement. Mixed ground glass opacity (GGO) and pulmonary consolidation were noted. A larger proportion of severe patients showed reticular pulmonary interstitium thickening. Air bronchogram, pleural effusion, vascular enlargement, bronchial wall thickening, bronchiectasis, pleural thickening and pleural adhesion were more frequently observed in severe/critical group. The severe/critical group showed higher CT score. Pulmonary lesions persisted even after twice consecutive negative nucleic acid tests. We strongly recommended regular follow-up of CT scans after nucleic acid tests conversion. Evaluation of complete remission should base on chest CT.