Chest CT findings of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): A comprehensive meta-analysis of 9907 confirmed patients

Link to article at PubMed

Clin Imaging. 2020 Oct 25;70:101-110. doi: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2020.10.035. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of chest CT findings in patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection.

METHODS: Systematic review of the literature was performed using PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Google Scholar to retrieve original studies on chest CT findings of patients with confirmed COVID-19, available up to 10 May 2020. Data on frequency and distribution of chest CT findings were extracted from eligible studies, pooled and meta-analyzed using random-effects model to calculate the prevalence of chest CT findings.

RESULTS: Overall, 103 studies (pooled population: 9907 confirmed COVID-19 patients) were meta-analyzed. The most common CT findings were ground-glass opacities (GGOs) (77.18%, 95%CI = 72.23-81.47), reticulations (46.24%, 95%CI = 38.51-54.14), and air bronchogram (41.61%, 95%CI = 32.78-51.01). Pleural thickening (33.35%, 95%CI = 21.89-47.18) and bronchial wall thickening (15.48%, 95%CI = 8.54-26.43) were major atypical and airway findings. Lesions were predominantly distributed bilaterally (75.72%, 95%CI = 70.79-80.06) and peripherally (65.64%, 95%CI = 58.21-72.36), while 8.20% (95%CI = 6.30-10.61) of patients had no abnormal findings and pre-existing lung diseases were present in 6.01% (95%CI = 4.37-8.23).

CONCLUSIONS: The most common CT findings in COVID-19 are GGOs with/without consolidation, reticulations, and air bronchogram, which often involve both lungs with peripheral distribution. However, COVID-19 might present with atypical manifestations or no abnormal findings in chest CT, which deserve clinicians' notice.

PMID:33142125 | DOI:10.1016/j.clinimag.2020.10.035

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