Radiol Cardiothorac Imaging. 2021 Dec 9;3(6):e210248. doi: 10.1148/ryct.210248. eCollection 2021 Dec.
PURPOSE: To characterize chest radiograph and CT imaging appearance in patients with breakthrough COVID-19 (defined as an illness occurring in patients that previously received a COVID-19 vaccination) in a hospital setting.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective study, all patients admitted to the hospital between August 26 and September 8, 2021 with a positive SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction-confirmed infection who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 were evaluated. Clinical, laboratory data, and outcomes were collected and assessed. All patients had chest imaging performed (either radiography, CT, or a combination of both). Chest radiographs and CTs were assessed and scored on admission and on follow up to determine the extent and type of pulmonary involvement. Descriptive statistics were used.
RESULTS: Charts of 60 hospitalized patients that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were reviewed for a prior history of COVID-19 vaccination. Eight (13.3%) such patients were identified and included for analysis (mean age, 54 years; range 34-81 years; four women). Patients received either two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech (n = 6), two doses of Moderna (n = 1), or one dose of Johnson and Johnson (n = 1). Five (63%) patients were immunosuppressed at the time of presentation, and six (75%) reported respiratory symptoms. Most of the patients had normal radiographs (4 of 7; 57%). The most common chest CT findings were ground glass opacities (three of five), with mild to moderate severity scores (average, 51; range 8-88). Two patients required intensive care unit admission. However, no patients died and all were either discharged or were on room air without residual respiratory symptoms by the end of the study period.
CONCLUSION: In hospitalized patients with COVID-19 breakthrough illness, normal to mild or moderately positive imaging findings were observed.©RSNA, 2021.