Hong Kong Med J. 2020 Jul 30. doi: 10.12809/hkmj208521. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: As the designated tertiary referral centre for infectious diseases in Hong Kong, our hospital received the city's first group of patients diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Herein, we studied the earliest patients admitted to our centre in order to clarify the typical radiological findings, particularly computed tomography (CT) findings, associated with COVID-19.
METHODS: From 22 January 2020 to 29 February 2020, 19 patients with confirmed COVID-19 underwent high-resolution or conventional CT scans of the thorax in our centre. The CT imaging findings of these patients with confirmed COVID-19 in Hong Kong were reviewed in this study.
RESULTS: Ground-glass opacities (GGO) with peripheral subpleural distribution were found in all patients (100%). No specific zonal predominance was observed. All lobes were involved in 16 (84.2%) patients, focal subsegmental consolidations were observed in 14 (73.7%) patients, and interlobular septal thickening was present in 12 (63.2%) patients. No mediastinal lymph node enlargement, centrilobular nodule, or pleural effusion was detected in any of the patients. Other imaging features present in several patients include bronchial dilatation, bronchial wall thickening, and crazy-paving patterns.
CONCLUSION: Peripheral subpleural GGO without zonal predominance in the absence of centrilobular nodule, pleural effusion, and lymph node enlargement were consistent findings in patients with confirmed COVID-19. The observed radiological patterns on CT scans can help identify COVID-19 and assess affected patients in the context of the ongoing outbreak.