To determine the consistency between CT findings and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and to investigate the relationship between CT features and clinical prognosis in COVID-19.
The clinical manifestations, laboratory parameters, and CT imaging findings were analyzed in 34 COVID-19 patients, confirmed by RT-PCR from January 20 to February 4 in Hainan Province. CT scores were compared between the discharged patients and the ICU patients.
Fever (85%) and cough (79%) were most commonly seen. Ten (29%) patients demonstrated negative results on their first RT-PCR. Of the 34 (65%) patients, 22 showed pure ground-glass opacity. Of the 34 (50%) patients, 17 had five lobes of lung involvement, while the 23 (68%) patients had lower lobe involvement. The lesions of 24 (71%) patients were distributed mainly in the subpleural area. The initial CT lesions of ICU patients were distributed in both the subpleural area and centro-parenchyma (80%), and the lesions were scattered. Sixty percent of ICU patients had five lobes involved, while this was seen in only 25% of the discharged patients. The lesions of discharged patients were mainly in the subpleural area (75%). Of the discharged patients, 62.5% showed pure ground-glass opacities; 80% of the ICU patients were in the progressive stage, and 75% of the discharged patients were at an early stage. CT scores of the ICU patients were significantly higher than those of the discharged patients.
Chest CT plays a crucial role in the early diagnosis of COVID-19, particularly for those patients with a negative RT-PCR. The initial features in CT may be associated with prognosis.
• Chest CT is valuable for the early diagnosis of COVID-19, particularly for those patients with a negative RT-PCR. • The early CT findings of COVID-19 in ICU patients differed from those of discharged patients.