PLoS One. 2020 Aug 25;15(8):e0237302. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0237302. eCollection 2020.
BACKGROUND: As the current outbreak of COVID-2019 disease has spread to the other more than 150 countries besides China around the world and the death number constantly increased, the clinical data and radiological findings of death cases need to be explored so that more physicians, radiologists and researchers can gain important information to save more lives.
METHODS: 73 patients who died from COVID-19 were retrospectively included. The clinical and laboratory data of the patients were extracted from electronic medical records. The clinical data, inflammation-related laboratory results, and CT imaging features were summarized. The laboratory results and dynamic changes of imaging features and severity scores of lung involvement based on chest CT were analyzed.
RESULTS: The mean age was 67±12 years. The typical clinical symptoms included fever (88%), cough (62%) and dyspnea (23%). 65% patients had at least one underlying disease. GGO with consolidation was the most common feature for the five lung lobes (47%-53% among the various lobes), with total severity score of 12.97±5.87 for the both lungs. The proportion of GGO with consolidation is markedly increased on follow-up chest CT compared with initial CT scans, as well as the averaging total CT scores (14.53±5.76 vs. 6.60±5.65; P<0.001). The severity score was rated as severe (white lung) in 13% patients on initial CT scans, and in 60% on follow-up CT scans. Moderate positive correlations were found between CT scores and leucocytes, neutrophils and IL-2R (r = 0.447-0581, P<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Chest CT findings and laboratory test results were worsening in patients who died of COVID-19, with moderate positive correlations between CT severity scores and inflammation-related factors of leucocytes, neutrophils, and IL-2R. Chest CT imaging may play an more important role in monitoring disease progression and predicting prognosis.