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BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 167, 2021 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1079217


BACKGROUND: Characteristics of COVID-19 patients have mainly been reported within confirmed COVID-19 cohorts. By analyzing patients with respiratory infections in the emergency department during the first pandemic wave, we aim to assess differences in the characteristics of COVID-19 vs. Non-COVID-19 patients. This is particularly important regarding the second COVID-19 wave and the approaching influenza season. METHODS: We prospectively included 219 patients with suspected COVID-19 who received radiological imaging and RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2. Demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters as well as RT-PCR results were used for subgroup analysis. Imaging data were reassessed using the following scoring system: 0 - not typical, 1 - possible, 2 - highly suspicious for COVID-19. RESULTS: COVID-19 was diagnosed in 72 (32,9%) patients. In three of them (4,2%) the initial RT-PCR was negative while initial CT scan revealed pneumonic findings. 111 (50,7%) patients, 61 of them (55,0%) COVID-19 positive, had evidence of pneumonia. Patients with COVID-19 pneumonia showed higher body temperature (37,7 ± 0,1 vs. 37,1 ± 0,1 °C; p = 0.0001) and LDH values (386,3 ± 27,1 vs. 310,4 ± 17,5 U/l; p = 0.012) as well as lower leukocytes (7,6 ± 0,5 vs. 10,1 ± 0,6G/l; p = 0.0003) than patients with other pneumonia. Among abnormal CT findings in COVID-19 patients, 57 (93,4%) were evaluated as highly suspicious or possible for COVID-19. In patients with negative RT-PCR and pneumonia, another third was evaluated as highly suspicious or possible for COVID-19 (14 out of 50; 28,0%). The sensitivity in the detection of patients requiring isolation was higher with initial chest CT than with initial RT-PCR (90,4% vs. 79,5%). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients show typical clinical, laboratory and imaging parameters which enable a sensitive detection of patients who demand isolation measures due to COVID-19.

COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/physiopathology , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Young Adult
J Clin Med ; 10(1)2020 Dec 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1004736


(1) Background: Time-consuming SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR suffers from limited sensitivity in early infection stages whereas fast available chest CT can already raise COVID-19 suspicion. Nevertheless, radiologists' performance to differentiate COVID-19, especially from influenza pneumonia, is not sufficiently characterized. (2) Methods: A total of 201 pneumonia CTs were identified and divided into subgroups based on RT-PCR: 78 COVID-19 CTs, 65 influenza CTs and 62 Non-COVID-19-Non-influenza (NCNI) CTs. Three radiology experts (blinded from RT-PCR results) raised pathogen-specific suspicion (separately for COVID-19, influenza, bacterial pneumonia and fungal pneumonia) according to the following reading scores: 0-not typical/1-possible/2-highly suspected. Diagnostic performances were calculated with RT-PCR as a reference standard. Dependencies of radiologists' pathogen suspicion scores were characterized by Pearson's Chi2 Test for Independence. (3) Results: Depending on whether the intermediate reading score 1 was considered as positive or negative, radiologists correctly classified 83-85% (vs. NCNI)/79-82% (vs. influenza) of COVID-19 cases (sensitivity up to 94%). Contrarily, radiologists correctly classified only 52-56% (vs. NCNI)/50-60% (vs. COVID-19) of influenza cases. The COVID-19 scoring was more specific than the influenza scoring compared with suspected bacterial or fungal infection. (4) Conclusions: High-accuracy COVID-19 detection by CT might expedite patient management even during the upcoming influenza season.