A Comparative Study of Chest Computed Tomography Features in Young and Older Adults With Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19)

J Thorac Imaging. 2020 Jul;35(4):W97-W101. doi: 10.1097/RTI.0000000000000513.


Objective: To analyze the most common computed tomography (CT) findings of pneumonia caused by new coronavirus in younger patients (60 and younger) and older adults (older than 60).

Materials and methods: The chest CT images of 72 symptomatic patients with corona virus disease (COVID-19) were analyzed retrospectively, including 44 younger patients (47.5±8.7 y old) and 28 older patients (68.4±6.0 y old). CT findings including density (pure ground-glass opacities, ground-glass opacities with consolidation, consolidation), the number of lobes involved, lesion distribution, and the main accompanying signs were analyzed and compared.

Results: Characteristic CT findings included the lobes of bilateral lung extensively involved, ground-glass opacity and ground-glass opacity with consolidation in the peripheral area, sometimes accompanied by interlobular septal thickening, and subpleural line and pleural thickening. Compared with the younger group, the proportion of extensive involvement of lung lobes was higher in the elderly group (71.4% vs. 36.4%, P=0.009), and subpleural line and pleural thickening were more likely to occur (50.0% vs. 25.0%, and 71.4% vs. 40.9%, P=0.030 and 0.011, respectively).

Conclusion: Elderly and younger patients with corona virus disease have some common CT features, but older patients are more likely to have extensive lung lobe involvement, and subpleural line and pleural thickening. These differentiated characteristics may be related to the progress and prognosis of the disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*