Clin Epidemiol Glob Health. 2020 Dec 3. doi: 10.1016/j.cegh.2020.11.006. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: It is important to predict the COVID-19 patient's prognosis, particularly in countries with lack or deficiency of medical resource for patient's triage management. Currently, WHO guideline suggests using chest imaging in addition to clinicolaboratory evaluation to decide on triage between home-discharge versus hospitalization. We designed our study to validate this recommendation to guide clinicians. This study providing some suggestions to guide clinicians for better decision making in 2020.
METHODS: In this retrospective study, patients with RT-PCR confirmed COVID-19 (N = 213) were divided in different clinical and management scenarios: home-discharge, ward hospitalization and ICU admission. We reviewed the patient's initial chest CT if available. We evaluated quantitative and qualitative characteristics of CT as well as relevant available clinicolaboratory data. Chi-square, One-Way ANOVA and Paired t-test were used for analysis.
RESULTS: The finding showed that most patients with mixed patterns, pleural effusion, 5 lobes involved, total score ≥10, SpO2% ≤ 90, ESR (mm/h) ≥ 60 and WBC (103/μL) ≥ 8000 were hospitalized. Most patients with Ground-glass opacities only, ≤3 lobes involvement, peripheral distribution, SpO2% ≥ 95, ESR (mm/h) < 30 and WBC(103/μL) < 6000 were home-discharged.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests the use of initial chest CT (qualitative and quantitative evaluation) in addition to initial clinicolaboratory data could be a useful supplementary method for clinical management and it is an excellent decision making tool (home-discharge versus ICU/Ward admission) for clinicians.