Evaluation of radiological findings in pediatric patients with COVID-19 in Turkey

North Clin Istanb. 2021 Aug 25;8(4):332-339. doi: 10.14744/nci.2020.97947. eCollection 2021.


Objective: The objective of the study was to describe the findings of pediatric patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in computed tomography (CT) and chest X-ray (CXR) images. Therefore, the aim of this study is to show protecting the children from radiation as much as possible while guiding the diagnosis.

Methods: Between March and June 2020, 148 pediatric patients examined who underwent CT due to suspicion of COVID-19. Fifty patients of 148 with normal thorax CT and negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were excluded from the study. Of the remaining 98 patients were evaluated retrospectively by two pediatric radiologists with 15 years of experience.

Results: The demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were evaluated for 52 RT-PCR-positive patients. CT finding of 23 RT-PCR positive and 12 negative patients was classified. According to our study, unilateral (61-67%), multifocal (50-52%), and peripheral (83-91%) involvement were higher in all groups. Lower lobe involvement was frequently detected (58-65%). The most frequently detected parenchymal lesion was ground-glass opacity followed by consolidated areas accompanying ground-grass opacities. Halo sign and vascular enlargement signs were the common signs of lung lesions (35%). In addition, some rare findings not previously described in this disease in children were mentioned in this study. The clinical course of all our patients was mild and control radiological imaging checked by CXR.

Conclusion: Most pediatric patients have a mild course. Hence, a balance between the risk of radiation and necessity for chest CT is very important. Low-dose CT scan is more suitable for pediatric patients but still it should be used cautiously.

Keywords: COVID-19; infectious diseases; pediatric patients; thorax computed tomography.