Investigation of HRCT Chest Severity in Patients with COVID-19: A Study of Tertiary Care Hospital in Pakistan
Saulat Sarfraz, Kh. Bilal Waheed, Masood Akhtar, Sarfraz Latif, Muhammad Asif, Abdus Sami Malik
Background: High-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) chest has a key role in diagnosis COVID-19, as it provides specific imaging features, i.e., bilateral, peripheral and sub-pleural, ground-glass opacity (GGO), consolidation and many associated findings.
Aim: To provide the detailed chest HRCT findings along with clinical information in patients with COVID-19.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the Department of Radiology SZPGMI, Lahore. Information on clinical data, chest radiography appearance and comorbidities were recorded ona designed proforma. HRCT chest findings were recorded in terms of pattern, distribution, laterality, and other findings. HRCT chest severity was calculated using a 25 point CT severity score. Kendall’s Tau test applied to investigate the correlation between the severity of HRCT chest with clinical severity levels of COVID-19.
Results: Fever (74%) was the most reported presenting symptom, followed by dry cough (70%). The majority of patients had abnormal chest X-ray (57%) as well as abnormal HRCT chest (90%). The majority of patients were in mild clinical scoring levels of disease (61%) and mild category (49%) of HRCT chest severity. In majority of the patients (46%), all five pulmonary lobes were involved, whereas the right lower lobe was most frequently affected. The pattern of ground-glass opacity (GGO) was found in 82% of patients. Most common distribution was ‘peripheral’, reported in 90% patients. Multiple lobe involvement was found in 82% of patients. The unilateral pulmonary involvement was observed in 12% of patients, whereas, bilateral was found in 78% of patients. Reticulations were reported in 22% followed by atelectasis in 18% patients.
Conclusion: COVID-19 patients usually present with abnormal HRCT chest, mostly with a benign course. Multiple pulmonary lobes are commonly involved, especially basal lobes with ground glass opacities. Clinical severity of the disease is reflected in HRCT findings.
Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic, HRCT Chest Findings, Ground Glass Opacity (GGO), Consolidation