Infect Dis Poverty. 2020 Aug 26;9(1):118. doi: 10.1186/s40249-020-00737-9.
OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently the most serious infectious disease in the world. An accurate diagnosis of this disease in the clinic is very important. This study aims to improve the differential ability of computed tomography (CT) to diagnose COVID-19 and other community-acquired pneumonias (CAPs) and evaluate the short-term prognosis of these patients.
METHODS: The clinical and imaging data of 165 COVID-19 and 118 CAP patients diagnosed in seven hospitals in Anhui Province, China from January 21 to February 28, 2020 were retrospectively analysed. The CT manifestations of the two groups were recorded and compared. A correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between COVID-19 and age, size of lung lesions, number of involved lobes, and CT findings of patients. The factors that were helpful in diagnosing the two groups of patients were identified based on specificity and sensitivity.
RESULTS: The typical CT findings of COVID-19 are simple ground-glass opacities (GGO), GGO with consolidation or grid-like changes. The sensitivity and specificity of the combination of age, white blood cell count, and ground-glass opacity in the diagnosis of COVID-19 were 92.7 and 66.1%, respectively. Pulmonary consolidation, fibrous cords, and bronchial wall thickening were used as indicators to exclude COVID-19. The sensitivity and specificity of the combination of these findings were 78.0 and 63.6%, respectively. The follow-up results showed that 67.8% (112/165) of COVID-19 patients had abnormal changes in their lung parameters, and the severity of the pulmonary sequelae of patients over 60 years of age worsened with age.
CONCLUSIONS: Age, white blood cell count and ground-glass opacity have high accuracy in the early diagnosis of COVID-19 and the differential diagnosis from CAP. Patients aged over 60 years with COVID-19 have a poor prognosis. This result provides certain significant guidance for the diagnosis and treatment of new coronavirus pneumonia.