Spectrum of CT appearance and CT severity index of COVID-19 pulmonary infection in correlation with age, sex, and PCR test: an Iraqi experience
نور عباس حمادي
Authors : Ammar Mosa Al-Mosawe, Hiba mohammed Abdulwahid & Noor Abbas Hummadi Fayadh
Background Since June 2020, an explosion in number of new COVID-19 patients has been reported in Iraq with a steady increment in new daily reported cases over the next 3 months. The limited number of PCR kits in the country and the increment in the number of new COVID-19 cases makes the role of CT scan examinations rising and becoming essential in aiding the health institutions in diagnosing and isolating infected patients and those in close contacts. This study will review the spectrum of CT pulmonary changes due to COVID-19 infection and estimate the CT severity score index and its relation to age, sex, and PCR test results. Results The ground glass opacities were the most common encountered pattern of pulmonary changes and were seen in (79%). There was strong positive correlation between higher CT severity score and male gender (p value = 0.0002, R2 = 0.9). Also, there was significant correlation of CT severity score and increasing age (p value less than 0.00018). Significant correlation was seen between CT scan percentage of lung involvement and positive PCR test results (p value = 0.001917), as the CT severity index is increasing, the PCR test is more likely to be positive. Conclusions Chest CT is an important and fast imaging tool for the diagnosis of COVID-19-infected patients especially in developing countries. In addition, chest CT can predict the disease severity by showing the percentage of lung involvement and hence give an idea about the prognosis of the disease. Higher CT severity score is significantly correlated with male gender, older age group patients and likely positive PCR test.

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