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Series CT scans in 35-year-old woman with COVID-19 pneumonia. (a) Scan obtained on illness days 1 showed multiple pure ground-glass opacity (GGO) mainly in right lower lobe. (b) Scan obtained on illness days 5 showed increased extent of GGO and early consolidation. (c) Scan obtained on illness days 11 showed multiple consolidation with almost the same extent. (d) Scan obtained on illness days 15 showed a mixed pattern with a slightly smaller extent, and the perilobular consolidation might suggest the presence of organizing pneumonia. The patient was discharged on illness days 17. Image courtesy of the journal Radiology


March 20, 2020 — In a new study published in the journal Radiology, researchers found mild to significant lung abnormalities on the chest computed tomography (CT) images of 94 percent of patients with COVID-19 upon discharge from the hospital, suggesting follow-up monitoring of patients might be necessary.

The researchers performed a longitudinal study to analyze the serial CT findings over time in patients with COVID-19. During Jan. 16 to Feb. 17, 2020, 90 patients (33 men and 57 women, mean age 45 years) with COVID-19 pneumonia were prospectively enrolled and followed up through discharge, death or study end. Radiologists reviewed 366 CT scans for the patterns and distribution of lung abnormalities, total CT scores and number of zones involved. Those features were analyzed for temporal change.

The extent of CT abnormalities progressed rapidly after symptom onset and peaked during illness days 6-11. The predominant pattern of abnormalities after symptom onset was ground-glass opacity. Sixty-six of the 70 patients discharged had residual disease on final CT scans, with ground-glass opacity the most common pattern.

“A better understanding of the progression of CT findings in COVID-19 pneumonia may help facilitate accurate diagnosis and disease stage,” the authors wrote.

You can read the full study: Temporal Changes of CT Findings in 90 Patients with COVID-19 Pneumonia: A Longitudinal Study.

Find the latest Radiology and Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging COVID-19 research at Special Focus: COVID-19.

 

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Additional COVID-19 Resources for Clinicians:

   ACC COVID-19 Hub page   

   Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center with inteavtive map of cases in U.S. and worldwide 

   World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 situation reports

   World Health Organization (WHO) coronavirus information page

   U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) COVID-19 information page

   Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 information page

   Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) for healthcare providers regarding COVID-19 related payments

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