Usefulness of chest X-rays for evaluating prognosis in patients with COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Radiologia (Engl Ed). 2021 Nov-Dec;63(6):476-483. doi: 10.1016/j.rxeng.2021.05.001.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The pandemia caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has been a diagnostic challenge in which chest X-rays have had a key role. This study aimed to determine whether the Radiological Scale for Evaluating Hospital Admission (RSEHA) applied to chest X-rays of patients with COVID-19 when they present at the emergency department is related with the severity of COVID-19 in terms of the need for admission to the hospital, the need for admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), and/or mortality.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This retrospective study included 292 patients with COVID-19 who presented at the emergency department between March 16, 2020 and April 30, 2020. To standardize the radiologic patterns, we used the RSEHA, categorizing the radiologic pattern as mild, moderate, or severe. We analyzed the relationship between radiologic severity according to the RSEHA with the need for admission to the hospital, admission to the ICU, and mortality.

RESULTS: Hospital admission was necessary in 91.4% of the patients. The RSEHA was significantly associated with the need for hospital admission (p = 0.03) and with the need for ICU admission (p < 0.001). A total of 51 (17.5%) patients died; of these, 57% had the severe pattern on the RSEHA. When we analyzed mortality by grouping patients according to their results on the RSEHA and their age range, the percentage of patients who died increased after age 70 years in patients classified as moderate or severe on the RSEHA.

CONCLUSIONS: Chest X-rays in patients with COVID-19 obtained in the emergency department are useful for determining the prognosis in terms of admission to the hospital, admission to the ICU, and mortality; radiologic patterns categorized as severe on the RSEHA are associated with greater mortality and admission to the ICU.

PMID:34801180 | DOI:10.1016/j.rxeng.2021.05.001

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