Background: COVID-19 had caused more than 2.8 million deaths globally, and the epidemic will persist for an extended period of time. We analyzed clinical features of patients in the early stage of the epidemic, so as to deepen the understanding of the disease.
Methods: In this retrospective study, we included 84 confirmed cases of COVID-19 during February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020. Baseline data were used to classify patients as moderate (57%) or severe/critical based on Chinese protocol. We focused on analyzing the differences in chest computed tomography (CT) between the two groups.
Results: Of the 84 cases, 50 were male and the median age was 69 years. 55 (65%) patients had comorbidities at admission, more in the severe/critical group (P=0.040). 94% patients had bilateral lesions on CT, up to 68% had lesions involving all lobes. Ground glass opacification (GGO) (96%), consolidation (44%), Linear opacities (50%) and Air bronchogram (23%) were the mainly lesions. The lesion was gradually absorbed over time, but imaging abnormalities can persist for a long time. Compared with moderate cases, the severe/critical group had more pulmonary consolidation changes (P=0.044) and significantly higher CT severity Score (CTSS) (P=0.040). Lymphocyte counts were significantly lower (P=0.011) and NLR were higher (P=0.029) in severe/critical cases.
Conclusions: Chest CT showed bilateral and multiple GGO and consolidation mainly. After treatment, pulmonary lesions were gradually absorbed over time, and imaging abnormalities can be persistent for a long time. Lung consolidation, CTSS, comorbidity, lymphocyte counts, and NLR may be predictors of severe COVID-19.