Chest CT of COVID-19 in patients with a negative first RT-PCR test: Comparison with patients with a positive first RT-PCR test.Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Jun 26; 99(26):e20837.M
To compare clinical and imaging features between patients with an initial negative reverse-transcription-polymerase chain-reaction (RT-PCR) test and patients with an initial positive RT-PCR test. CT follow-up analysis in the negative RT-PCR group is also described.Thirty-three patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by RT-PCR, with 216 lesions upon CT, were included. Demographic information and chest CT imaging features were collected.The average age in the whole study group was 46.9 ± 11.1 years, with 18 males and 15 females. Patients in the positive RT-PCR test group were more likely to have a fever than patients in the negative RT-PCR test group (85.7% vs 50%, P < .05). Lesions in the positive group were more likely to be located in the peripheral area than lesions in the negative group (83.6% vs 68.2%, P < .05). Regarding the appearance of 216 lesions, ground-glass opacities (GGOs) with consolidation (43.2%) was the most common appearance in the negative group, followed by pure GGOs (31.8%), while in the positive group, pure GGOs (32%) and GGOs with interlobular septal thickening (32.8%) were both most frequent, and the difference between them was evident (P < .05). For the follow-up analysis, the largest short-axis of a lesion was smaller upon follow-up (median size 13.6 mm vs 14 mm), albeit by a smaller margin. Pure GGOs decreased in frequency, from 31.3% to 21.3%, while consolidation increased in frequency, from 7.5% to 12.5%.The manifestations of COVID-19 in patients with a first negative RT-PCR test and patients with a positive first RT-PCR test are different to some extent. The consolidation component may increase after follow-up.