CT imaging features of 4121 patients with COVID-19 (search done: 16 March 2020)

Added June 2, 2020

Citation: Zhu J, Zhong Z, Li H, et al. CT imaging features of 4121 patients with COVID-19: a meta-analysis. Journal of Medical Virology 2020; [ePub ahead of print: 21 April 2020]

What is this? COVID-19 is a novel infection and research around diagnostic features is important for clinicians. In particular, information on common computed tomography (CT) findings may be helpful.

In this rapid review and meta-analysis, the authors searched for observational studies examining CT imaging features of COVID-19 patients. They did not restrict by language of publication and searched for articles published between 1 January 2020 and 16 March 2020. They identified 34 studies from China (4121 patients), which were included in the meta-analyses for different imaging features.

What was found: In the studies included in this review, bilateral lung involvement and multi-lobar involvement were common findings on CT imaging (74% and 67%, respectively).

In the studies included in this review, single lung and/or lobe involvement and normal findings on CT imaging were rare for patients with COVID-19 infection, with 8.4% of COVID-19 patients having normal CT findings.

In the studies included in this review, ground-glass opacities were the most common lesion sign observed (68%) and air bronchograms, “crazy-paving” pattern and consolidation were also common.

In the studies included in this review, accompanying clinical signs were less common: 27% of patients had signs of pleural thickening.

It is uncertain whether particular stages of COVID-19 infection have characteristic CT findings.


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