Visual and Quantitative Assessment of COVID-19 Pneumonia on Chest CT: The Relationship with Disease Severity and Clinical Findings
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CitationKaya, F., Konya, P. Ş., Demirel, E., Orhan, S., & Ufuk, F. (2021). Visual and quantitative assessment of COVID-19 pneumonia on chest CT: the relationship with disease severity and clinical findings. Current Medical Imaging, 17(9), 1142-1150.
Background: Lungs are the primary organ involved in COVID-19, and the severity of pneumonia in COVID-19 patients is an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Aim: We aimed to evaluate the pneumonia severity through the visual and quantitative assessment on chest computed tomography (CT) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and compare the CT findings with clinical and laboratory findings. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated adult COVID-19 patients who underwent chest CT along with theirclinical scores, laboratory findings, and length of hospital stay. Two independent radiologists visually evaluated the pneumonia severity on chest CT (VSQS). Quantitative CT (QCT) assessment was performed using a free DICOM viewer, and the percentage of the well-aerated lung (%WAL), high-attenuation areas (%HAA) at different threshold values, and mean lung attenuation (MLA) values were calculated. The relationship between CT scores and the clinical, laboratory data, and the length of hospital stay were evaluated in this cross-sectional study. The student's t-test and chi-square test were used to analyze the differences between the variables. The Pearson correlation test analyzed the correlation between the variables. The diagnostic performance of the variables was assessed using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Results: The VSQS and QCT scores were significantly correlated with procalcitonin, d-dimer, ferritin, and C-reactive protein levels. Both VSQ and QCT scores were significantly correlated with the disease severity (p < 0.001). Among the QCT parameters, the %HAA-600 value showed the best correlation with the VSQS (r = 730, p < 0.001). VSQS and QCT scores had high sensitivity and specificity in distinguishing disease severity and predicting prolonged hospitalization. Conclusion: The VSQS and QCT scores can help manage the COVID-19 and predict the duration of the hospitalization.