Radiological and pulmonary function outcomes of children with SARS

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2004 Dec;38(6):427-33. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20078.


We examined the radiological and pulmonary function outcomes of children affected with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) at 6 months from diagnosis. Twenty-one female and 26 male Chinese patients (median age, 13.6 years; interquartile range, 9.9-16.0) were studied. In each subject, high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) of the thorax and pulmonary function were assessed. All children were asymptomatic and had a normal clinical examination. Mild pulmonary abnormalities were detected on HRCT in 16 (34.0%) subjects, including residual ground-glass opacification (n = 5), air trapping (n = 8), and a combination of ground-glass changes and air trapping (n = 3). The need for oxygen supplementation (P = 0.02) and lymphopenia during the course of illness (P = 0.012) were significant risk factors in predicting abnormal HRCT. There were no significant lung function differences between those with and without HRCT abnormalities. Despite complete clinical resolution, a considerable proportion of children affected with SARS had abnormal HRCT findings at 6 months. These abnormalities were more prevalent in those with severe disease. It is important that careful follow-up be carried out to assess the clinical significance and persistence of such abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • SARS Virus*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome