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Cureus ; 15(3): e36821, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2300136


The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 at the end of 2019 sparked the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though it was a novel virus, the workup of suspected COVID-19 included standard protocols used for the investigation of similar respiratory infections and pneumonia. One of the most important diagnostic tests in this regard is computed tomography (CT). CT scans have a high sensitivity in diagnosing COVID-19, and many of the characteristic imaging findings of COVID-19 are used in its diagnosis. The role of CT in COVID-19 management is expanding as more and more hospital practices adopt regular CT use in both the initial workup and continued care of COVID-19 patients. CT has helped hospitalists diagnose complications such as pulmonary embolism, subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum, pneumothoraces, and nosocomial pneumonia. Although mainly used as a diagnostic tool, the prognostic role of CT in COVID-19 patients is developing. In this review, we explore the role of CT in the management of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, specifically elucidating its use as a diagnostic and prognostic modality, as well as its ability to guide hospital decision-making regarding complex cases. We will highlight important time points when CT scans are used: the initial encounter, the time at admission, and during hospitalization.

Cureus ; 14(11): e31493, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2203297


Introduction Studies have reported similar clinical, biochemical, and radiological features between real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-positive and RT-PCR-negative patients. Therefore, the present study aims to assess differences in RT-PCR-positive versus RT-PCR-negative patients' characteristics. Methods We prospectively included 70 consecutive patients with typical coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-like clinical features who were either RT-PCR-positive or negative, requiring admission to the intensive care unit. The patients were classified into positive and negative RT-PCR groups and evaluated for clinical features, comorbidities, laboratory findings, and radiologic features. Results Fifty-seven point one percent (57.1%; 40/70) were RT-PCR positive, and 42.9% (30/70) were RT-PCR negative patients. The respiratory rate was higher among negative patients (P = 0.02), whereas the mean duration of fever was longer (3.34 vs 2.5; P = 0.022) among positive patients. At presentation, RT-PCR-negative patients had lower saturation of peripheral oxygen (SpO2) (near significant P = 0.058). Evaluation of co-morbidities revealed no differences. The neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) (4.57 vs 6.52; P = 0.048), C-reactive protein (CRP) (9.97 vs 22.7; P = 0.007), and serum ferritin (158 vs 248.52; P = 0.010) were higher in patients who tested negative for RT-PCR. Thrombocytopenia (2.42 vs 1.76; P = 0.009), D-dimer levels (408.91 vs 123.06; P = 0.03), and interleukin (IL-6) levels (219.3 vs 80.81; P = 0.04) were significantly elevated among RT-PCR positive patients. The percentage of lung involvement in negative cases was 42.29+/-22.78 vs 36.21+/-21.8 in positive cases (P=0.23). The CT severity score was similar in both cohorts. Conclusion Both RT-PCR-positive and negative patients have similar clinical, biochemical, and radiological features. Considering that we are amidst a pandemic, it is advisable to have a similar approach irrespective of the RT-PCR report and triage and isolate accordingly. We recommend an RT-PCR-negative intensive care unit (ICU) ward and that the treating physician take a call on the management with a holistic approach driven clinically by the laboratory findings and helped by radiological findings. Stressing only on the RT-PCR report for management can be counterproductive.

Cureus ; 12(8): e9989, 2020 Aug 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738288


While the definitive diagnosis of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is mainly made by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), some PCR-negative cases are diagnosed typically by a computed tomography (CT) scan's radiology. However, there are many different infectious and non-infectious diseases that have radiology like COVID-19. We are presenting a case of a patient having symptoms and a CT scan radiology comparable to that of COVID-19 and also having eosinophilia. The patient was initially diagnosed and treated as a COVID-19 patient. The patient stated that she had always complained of having dyspnea and cough, but it had increased even more in the past few days. Her thorax CT revealed bilateral ground-glass opacities with upper lobe predominance, which was reported as highly compatible with COVID-19 by radiologists. COVID-19 PCR result was negative twice. In laboratory results, eosinophil count was 2,850/mm3 and total Ig was 768 IU/mL. However, when the laboratory values and the radiological findings were combined with the patient's history, COVID-19 was excluded and the chronic eosinophilic pneumonia was accepted as a diagnosis. Clinicians more focused on COVID-19 while questioning the patients and while evaluating the laboratory and the radiological findings make it easier to miss other infectious and non-infectious diseases. Assessing the complete blood count result, focusing on the lymphocyte value, also makes it easy to skip eosinophilia.