Introduction: This study aimed to assess the correlation between nucleic acid amplification test (real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, RT-PCR) positivity of patients presenting with suspected COVID-19 and pneumonic infiltration consistent with COVID-19-specific pneumonia diagnosis on thoracic computed tomography (CT), with symptoms, laboratory findings, and clinical progression.Methods: The study included 286 patients (female:male 131:155; mean age, 53.3 ± 17.9 years) who were divided into two groups according to their RT-PCR test results. The symptoms, laboratory examinations, clinical findings, and thoracic CT imaging of the patients were evaluated.Results: While the physical examination, comorbidities, and total CT scores were similar between the groups, taste/smell abnormalities were observed more frequently in the PCR-positive group. The use of moxifloxacin, lopinavir/ritonavir, and tocilizumab was higher in the PCR-positive group (p = 0.016, p < 0.001, and p = 0.002, respectively). The duration of hospitalization, intensive care requirement, and mortality rate of the studied groups did not differ between the groups.Conclusions: Among patients presenting with suspected COVID-19 and pneumonic infiltration consistent with COVID-19 on thoracic CT, the symptoms, physical examination, total CT scores, duration of hospitalization, intensive care requirement, and mortality rate were similar between RT-PCR-positive and RT-PCR-negative patients. However, PCR-positive patients appeared to require more specific treatments.
Keywords: COVID-19; COVID-19 RT-PCR; SARS CoV-2; pneumonia.