In late December, 2019, an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China was caused by a novel coronavirus, newly named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We aimed to quantify severity of COVID-19 infection on High-Resolution CT and to determine its relationship with clinical parameters.
Materials and Methods From Jan 11, 2020, to Feb 5, 2020, the clinical, laboratory and HRCT features of 42 patients (26-75 years, 25 males) with COVID-19 were analyzed. The initial and follow-up CT obtained a mean of 4.5 days and 11.6 days from the illness onset were retrospectively assessed for the severity and progression of pneumonia. Correlations among clinical parameters, initial CT features and progression of opacifications were evaluated with Spearman correlation and linear regression analysis.
Results Thirty-five (83%) patients exhibited a progressive process according to CT features during the early stage from onset. Follow-up CT findings showed progressive opacifications, consolidation, interstitial thickening, fibrous strips and air bronchograms, compared to initial CT (all p<0.05). Before regular treatments, there was a moderate correlation between the days from onset and sum score of opacifications (R=0.68, p<0.01). The C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and lactate dehydrogenase showed significantly positive correlation with the severity of pneumonia assessed on initial CT (R range 0.36-0.75, p<0.05). The highest temperature and the severity of opacifications assessed on initial CT were significantly related to the progression of opacifications on follow-up CT (p=0.001-0.04).
Conclusions Patients with the COVID-19 infection usually presented with typical ground-grass opacities and other CT features, which showed significant correlations with some clinical and laboratory measurements. Follow-up CT images often demonstrated progressions during the early stage from illness onset.