Image by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), in collaboration with Colorado State University on Unsplash
There could be some significant overlap with the imaging similarities with the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the secure acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The findings will be presented in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).
Chest imaging plays a vital role in both assessments of disease extent and follow-up.
As per her review of the present clinical literature concerning COVID-19, Melina Hosseiny of the University of California at Los Angeles said in a release: "Early evidence suggests that initial chest imaging will show abnormality in at least 85% of patients, with 75% of patients having bilateral lung involvement initially that most often manifests as subpleural and peripheral areas of ground-glass opacity and consolidation."
Furthermore, "older age and progressive consolidation" may imply an overall poorer prognosis. Unlike SARS and MERS - where initial chest imaging abnormalities are more frequently unilateral – COVID-19 is more likely to involve both lungs on initial imaging.
"To our knowledge," Hosseiny et al. continued, "pleural effusion, cavitation, pulmonary nodules, and lymphadenopathy have not been reported in patients with COVID-19."
The authors of this AJR article recommended CT for follow-up in patients recovering from COVID-19 to evaluate long-term or even permanent pulmonary damage, including fibrosis - as seen in SARS and MERS infections.