Clinical and computed tomographic (CT) images characteristics in the patients with COVID-19 infection: What should radiologists need to know?

J Xray Sci Technol. 2020;28(3):369-381. doi: 10.3233/XST-200670.


Objective: To evaluate the clinical and computed tomographic (CT) features in the patients with COVID-19 pneumonia confirmed by the real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) amplification of the viral DNA from a sputum sample.

Material and methods: Clinical information and CT findings of a total of 14 patients with COVID-19 infection (age range, 12-83 years; females 6) were analyzed retrospectively. The clinical information includes the history of exposure, laboratory results, and the symptoms (such as fever, cough, headache, etc.); CT findings of chest include the extension and distribution of lesion, the ground-glass opacity (GGO), consolidation, bronchovascular enlarged, irregular linear appearances, pleural effusion, and lymphadenopathy.

Results: Eight patients had the exposure history for recent travel to Wuhan of Hubei province (8/14, 57%), 6 had the exposure to patients with COVID-19 infection. Significant statistical differences were observed in lymphocyte percentage decreased and C-reactive protein elevated (p = 0.015). Seven patients had fever, 7 had cough, 2 had headache, 3 had fatigue, 1 had body soreness, 3 had diarrhea, and 2 had no obvious symptoms. In chest CT examination, 10 patients were positive (10/14, 71.43%). Among these patients, 9 had lesions involving both lungs (9/10, 90%), 8 had lesions involving 4 to 5 lobes (8/10, 80%). Most of lesions were distributed peripherally and the most significant lesions were observed in the right lower lobe in 9 patients (9/10, 90%). Nodules were observed in 5 patients (5/10, 50%); GGO, consolidation, and bronchovascular enlarged were shown in 9 patients (9/10, 90%); irregular linear appearances were revealed in 7 patients (7/10, 70%); and pleural effusions were exhibited in 2 patients (2/10, 20%). Last, no patients showed lymphadenopathy.

Conclusion: There were some typical CT features for diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia. The radiologists should know these CT findings and clinical information, which could help for accurate analysis in the patients with 2019 novel coronavirus infection.

Keywords: COVID-19 infection; Novel coronavirus; computed tomographic findings; virus pneumonia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Child
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiologists
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Young Adult