Dynamic analysis of pulmonary computed tomography (CT) characteristics in cured coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients

Ann Palliat Med. 2021 Feb;10(2):2062-2071. doi: 10.21037/apm-20-2532. Epub 2021 Feb 8.


Background: To retrospectively analyze the pulmonary computed tomography (CT) characteristics and dynamic changes in the lungs of cured coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients at discharge and reexamination.

Methods: A total of 155 cured COVID-19 patients admitted to designated hospitals in Yunnan Province, China, from February 1, 2020, to March 20, 2020, were included. All patients underwent pulmonary CT at discharge and at 2 weeks after discharge (during reexamination at hospital). A retrospective analysis was performed using these two pulmonary CT scans of the cured patients to observe changes in the number, distribution, morphology, and density of lesions.

Results: At discharge, the lung CT images of 15 cured patients showed no obvious lesions, while those of the remaining 140 patients showed different degrees of residual lesions. Patients with moderate disease mostly had multiple pulmonary lesions, mainly in the lower lobes of both lungs. At reexamination, the lung lesions in the patients with moderate disease had significantly improved (P<0.05), and the lung lesions in the patients with severe disease had partially improved, especially in patients with multi-lobe involvement (χ 2 =3.956, P<0.05). At reexamination, the lung lesions of patients with severe disease did not show significant changes (P>0.05).

Conclusions: The pulmonary CT manifestations of cured COVID-19 patients had certain characteristics and variation patterns, providing a reference for the clinical evaluation of treatment efficacy and prognosis of patients.

Keywords: pneumonia; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT); computed tomography (CT).

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / diagnostic imaging*
  • China
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Patient Discharge
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survivors*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*