Initial CT findings and temporal changes in patients with the novel coronavirus pneumonia (2019-nCoV): a study of 63 patients in Wuhan, China

Eur Radiol. 2020 Jun;30(6):3306-3309. doi: 10.1007/s00330-020-06731-x. Epub 2020 Feb 13.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to observe the imaging characteristics of the novel coronavirus pneumonia.

Methods: Sixty-three confirmed patients were enrolled from December 30, 2019 to January 31, 2020. High-resolution CT (HRCT) of the chest was performed. The number of affected lobes, ground glass nodules (GGO), patchy/punctate ground glass opacities, patchy consolidation, fibrous stripes and irregular solid nodules in each patient's chest CT image were recorded. Additionally, we performed imaging follow-up of these patients.

Results: CT images of 63 confirmed patients were collected. M/F ratio: 33/30. The mean age was 44.9 ± 15.2 years. The mean number of affected lobes was 3.3 ± 1.8. Nineteen (30.2%) patients had one affected lobe, five (7.9%) patients had two affected lobes, four (6.3%) patients had three affected lobes, seven (11.1%) patients had four affected lobes while 28 (44.4%) patients had 5 affected lobes. Fifty-four (85.7%) patients had patchy/punctate ground glass opacities, 14 (22.2%) patients had GGO, 12 (19.0%) patients had patchy consolidation, 11 (17.5%) patients had fibrous stripes and 8 (12.7%) patients had irregular solid nodules. Fifty-four (85.7%) patients progressed, including single GGO increased, enlarged and consolidated; fibrous stripe enlarged, while solid nodules increased and enlarged.

Conclusions: Imaging changes in novel viral pneumonia are rapid. The manifestations of the novel coronavirus pneumonia are diverse. Imaging changes of typical viral pneumonia and some specific imaging features were observed. Therefore, we need to strengthen the recognition of image changes to help clinicians to diagnose quickly and accurately.

Key points: • High-resolution CT (HRCT) of the chest is critical for early detection, evaluation of disease severity and follow-up of patients with the novel coronavirus pneumonia. • The manifestations of the novel coronavirus pneumonia are diverse and change rapidly. • Radiologists should be aware of the various features of the disease and temporal changes.

Keywords: Coronavirus infections; Lung diseases; Pneumonia, viral; Thorax; Tomography, x-ray computed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • China
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Thorax
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed