Radiological findings in 136 patients suspected of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Christos Tsiamis, Athanasios Papathanasiou-Papaeuthimiou, Sofia Gioulvanivou


Purpose: To describe and study the chest computed tomography (CT) and x-ray (CXR) radiological findings in 136 patients with clinical suspicion for COVID-19 infection.

Material and Methods: A total number of 136 patients, 84 males and 52 females, aged 21 to 90 years old, who came to the emergency department of our hospital complaining of symptoms similar to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). After clinical examination and evaluation all these patients underwent PCR Test for COVID-19 and some basic blood tests as well. Since their clinical picture made them suspects for COVID-19 the next step included CXR and CT. The evaluation of CXRs and CTs was performed by three radiologists, without a specific scoring system, in consensus mainly for ground glass opacity (GGO), consolidation, location, lymphadenopathy, pleural effusion and pleural thickening.

Results: 66/136 (48.5%) patients were positive to COVID-19, while 70 had negative PCR Test. 52/66 (78.8%) positive patients were over 51 years old (up to 90 years). Radiological findings on chest CT in the 66 positive patients included GGOs (60 cases, 90.9%), while in 6 cases (9.1%) there were no abnormal findings. In most cases (52, 78.8%) the opacities were bilateral and in only 14 cases (21.2%) they were unilateral. GGOs were found mainly in middle and peripheral pulmonary zones, as well as middle and lower lung lobes. Besides GGO, imaging findings commonly included lymphadenopathy (34, 51.5%), pleural effusion and thickening (18, 27.3%). Less frequent findings included crazy paving (10, 15.1 %), septal thickening and lines (7, 10.6 %), air-space consolidation (5, 7.5 %) and reticular pattern (9, 13,6 %). 44/66 (66.7%) positive patients showed abnormal findings on CXR, while 22 (33.3%) had normal CXR. Chest CT in 14/70 (20.0%) negative patients demonstrated lung consolidation and GGO. 54/70 of the negative patients (77.1%) had normal chest x-rays.

Conclusions: The majority of patients with positive PCR Test had abnormal findings on CXRs and CT. Abnormal CT findings were mainly bilateral, multi-focal GGO. Abnormal findings in patients with COVID-19 were related to their age, in particular these were milder in younger patients.


COVID-19; Chest Computed Tomography; Chest Radiographs; Ground Glass Opacities

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