Impact of Computed Tomography-Quantified Emphysema Score on Clinical Outcome in Patients with COVID-19.Int J Gen Med. 2021; 14:3327-3333.IJ
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is considered a risk factor for poor outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, data on the prognostic impact of radiological emphysema extent on patients with COVID-19 are limited. Thus, this study aimed to examine whether computed tomography (CT)-quantified emphysema score is associated with a worse clinical outcome in patients with COVID-19.
Volumetric quantitative analyses of CT images were performed to obtain emphysema scores in COVID-19 patients admitted to four tertiary referral hospitals in Daegu, South Korea, between February 18 and March 25, 2020. Patients were divided into three groups according to emphysema score (emphysema score ≤1%, 1%< emphysema score ≤5%, and emphysema score >5%).
A total of 146 patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included. The median emphysema score was 1.0% (interquartile range, 0.5-1.8%). Eight patients (6%) had a previous COPD diagnosis. Eighty (55%), 55 (38%), and 11 (8%) patients had emphysema scores ≤1%, between 1% and 5%, and >5%, respectively. The number of patients who received oxygen therapy two weeks after admission was significantly higher in the group with emphysema scores >5% than in other groups (p=0.025). The frequency of deaths was three (27%) in the group with emphysema scores >5% and tended to be higher than that in other groups. Multivariate analysis revealed that age, COPD, and serum lactate dehydrogenase levels were associated with a greater risk of in-hospital mortality in patients with COVID-19.
The current study demonstrated that patients with CT-quantified emphysema scores >5% tended to progress to severe disease over time; however, they did not exhibit an increased risk of mortality in our COVID-19 cohort. Further studies with consideration of both emphysema extent and airflow limitation degree are warranted.