Imaging features and evolution on CT in 100 COVID-19 pneumonia patients in Wuhan, China.Eur Radiol. 2020 Oct; 30(10):5446-5454.ER
To investigate CT images of 100 confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia patients to describe the lesion distribution, CT signs, and evolution during different courses.
A retrospective study of 100 COVID-19 pneumonia patients without ARDS was performed, and CT scans were reviewed. A COVID-19 pneumonia course diagram was drawn. Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare the lesion distribution and CT scores, χ2 test was used to compare the CT findings between different stages.
A total of 272 CT scans from 100 patients (mean age, 52.3 years ± 13.1) were investigated. Four patients with lung abnormalities on CT first showed negative RT-PCR result and turned positive afterwards. One hundred sixty-nine (62.1%) showed predominantly peripheral distribution. The CT scores of the upper zone (3.4 ± 3.6) were significantly lower than those of the middle (5.0 ± 3.9) and lower (4.8 ± 3.6) zones (p < 0.001). The CT scores of the anterior zones (4.9 ± 4.7) were significantly lower than those of the posterior zones (8.4 ± 6.2) (p < 0.001). In the early rapid progressive stage (1~7 days), ground glass opacity (GGO) plus reticular pattern (58.1%), GGO plus consolidation (43.0%), and GGO (41.9%) were all common. In the advanced stage (8~14 days), GGO plus consolidation (79.8%) and repairing CT signs (subpleural line, bronchus distortion, and fibrotic strips) showed a significant increase (p < 0.05). In the absorption stage, GGO plus consolidation (9.1%) sharply decreased (p < 0.05).
CT imaging of COVID-19 pneumonia showed a predominantly peripheral, middle and lower, and posterior distribution. The early rapid progressive stage is 1~7 days from symptom onset, the advanced stage with peak levels of abnormalities on CT is 8~14 days, and the abnormalities started to improve after 14 days.
• The course of COVID-19 pneumonia consists of three stages: 1~7 days is the early rapid progressive stage, 8~14 days is the advanced stage, and after 14 days, the abnormalities started to decrease. • In the early rapid progressive stage, GGO plus a reticular pattern, GGO plus consolidation, and GGO were all common signs; in the advanced stage, signs of progression and absorption coexisted; lung abnormalities showed an asynchronous process with parts with absorption and parts progressing. • Lung abnormalities mainly showed predominantly peripheral, middle, and lower distribution.