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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-14

CT chest interpretation of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Our experience with the first 60 patients at MGM Medical College, Aurangabad, India

Department of Radiodiagnosis, MGM Medical College and Hospital, N6, CIDCO, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bano Nikhat
Department of Radiodiagnosis, MGM Medical College and Hospital, N6, CIDCO, Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mgmj.mgmj_78_20

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Introduction: In December 2019, the outbreak of a novel corona virus infection occurred in Wuhan City, China. Early discussions suggested that computed tomography (CT) should be the preferred modality for the diagnosis of COVID-19. However, the use of CT for COVID-19 diagnosis is controversial. Also, the detailed CT features of COVID-19 have been reported in only a small number of articles in the literature. Objective: To evaluate lung abnormalities on thin-section CT scans in patients with COVID-19. Materials and Methods: This study included the first 60 clinically suspected patients for COVID-19 infection. The patients have further investigated for COVID-19 infection by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test and CT chest. We identified CT patterns suggestive of COVID-19 infection and calculated the total CT severity score. The imaging reports of the CT chest study were compared with the RT-PCR test results. Results: In our study, we had 37 male patients and 23 female patients. COVID-19 pneumonia was diagnosed in 55 of the 60 patients, but five patients did not show any commonly described findings of COVID-19 pneumonia. Of the 55 patients, the majority of them had ground-glass opacities. The bilateral lower lobes were involved in the majority of the cases. RT-PCR results show that, of the 60 patients, 37 were positive for COVID-19 and 23 were negative for COVID-19. The mean total lung severity score for the 60 patients was 11.5 (range, 0–25). Mediastinal lymphadenopathy was notably absent in all 60 patients and only five patients had traces of bilateral pleural effusion and only one patient had air trapping. In terms of the distribution of disease in the axial plane, peripheral distribution was found in most of the cases. The patients with higher CT scores required ICU admission and ventilator support, and had a poor prognosis. Conclusion: We found that chest CT may be useful as a standard method for the rapid diagnosis of COVID-19 to optimize the management of patients in hospital settings where nucleic acid testing kits are not available or available in limited quantities. Chest CT plays a crucial role in the early detection of COVID-19, particularly for those patients with a negative RT-PCR.

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