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Afr Health Sci ; 21(4): 1558-1566, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703246


Background: The limitations and false-negative results of Real-time Polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) in diagnosing COVID-19 infection demand the need for imaging modalities such as chest HRCT to improve the diagnostic accuracy and assess the severity of the infection. Objectives: The study aimed to compare the chest HRCT severity scores in RT-PCR positive and negative cases of COVID-19. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 50 clinically suspected COVID-19 patients. Chest HRCT and PCR testing of all 50 patients were done and the chest HRCT severity scores for each lung and bronchopulmonary segments were compared in patients with positive and negative PCR results. Chi-square and Mann Whitney U test were used to assess differences among study variables. Results: Chest HRCT severity score was more in PCR negative patients than in those with PCR positive results. However, the difference was not significant (p=0.11). There was a significant association in severity scores of the anterior basal segment of the left lung (p=0.022) and posterior segment upper lobe of right lung (p=0.035) with PCR results. This association was insignificant for other bronchopulmonary segments (p>0.05). Conclusion: CR negativity does not rule out infection in clinically suspected COVID-19 patients. The use of chest HRCT helps to determine the extent of lung damage in clinically suspected patients irrespective of PCR results. Guidelines that consider clinical symptoms, chest HRCT severity score and PCR results for a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in suspected patients are needed.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods
Cureus ; 13(1): e12544, 2021 Jan 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067984


Background To date, several pharmacological agents have been employed in the treatment and management of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While the utility of corticosteroids in severe COVID-19 infection is now widely touted, their efficacy in thwarting the progression of non-severe disease remains elusive. Methods A retrospective cohort study involving 25 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of non-severe COVID-19 infection was conducted. Subjects were assigned to either the steroid or the non-steroid group. A low-dose, short-course corticosteroid regimen was administered for seven days and the disease outcomes were recorded and compared among the two groups. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was employed to discern the data normality. Results In patients treated with low-dose, short-course steroids, the overall all-cause mortality was significantly lower compared with the non-steroid group (8.3% and 61.5%, respectively; p = 0.005). The prevalence of acute respiratory distress syndrome in the steroid group was significantly lower than that in the non-steroid group at the seven-day mark (16.7% and 84.6%, respectively; p = 0.002). Within the steroid group, the incidence of developing secondary complications was also markedly lower than that in the non-steroid group. Conclusions In patients afflicted with non-severe COVID-19, the employment of low-dose, short-course corticosteroids may confer a therapeutic advantage, significantly curtailing the mortality rate, the length of hospital stay, and the risk of developing secondary complications.