Ann Med. 2021 Dec;53(1):169-180. doi: 10.1080/07853890.2020.1851044.
OBJECTIVES: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly swept across the world. This study aimed to explore the relationship between the chest CT findings and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients.
METHODS: Patients with COVID-19 confirmed by next-generation sequencing or RT-PCR who had undergone more than 4 serial chest CT procedures were retrospectively enrolled.
RESULTS: This study included 361 patients - 192 men and 169 women. On initial chest CT, more lesions were identified as multiple bilateral lungs lesions and localised in the peripheral lung. The predominant patterns of abnormality were ground-glass opacities (GGO) (28.5%), consolidation (13.0%), nodule (23.0%), fibrous stripes (5.3%) and mixed (30.2%). Severe cases were more common in patients with a mixed pattern (21.1%) and less common in patients with nodules (2.4%). During follow-up CT, the mediumtotal severity score (TSS) in patients with nodules and fibrous strips was significantly lower than that in patients with mixed patterns in all three stages (p < .01).
CONCLUSION: Chest CT plays an important role in diagnosing COVID-19. The CT features may vary by age. Different CT features are not only associated with clinical manifestation but also patient prognosis. Key messages The initial chest CT findings of COVID-19 could help us monitor and predict the outcome. Nodules were more common in non severe cases and had a favorable prognosis. The mixed pattern was more common in severe cases and usually had a relatively poor outcome.