Korean J Radiol.  2020 Jun;21(6):736-745. 10.3348/kjr.2020.0171.

Association between Initial Chest CT or Clinical Features and Clinical Course in Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pneumonia

  • 1Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China
  • 2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA
  • 3Department of Radiology, the Eighth Hospital of Xi’an, Xi’an, China
  • 4Department of Radiology, Xi’an Chest Hospital, Xi’an, China
  • 5Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi’an, China


To identify the initial chest computed tomography (CT) findings and clinical characteristics associated with the course of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia.
Materials and Methods
Baseline CT scans and clinical and laboratory data of 72 patients admitted with COVID-19 pneumonia (39 men, 46.2 ± 15.9 years) were retrospectively analyzed. Baseline CT findings including lobar distribution, presence of ground glass opacities, consolidation, linear opacities, and lung severity score were evaluated. The outcome event was recovery with hospital discharge. The time from symptom onset to discharge or the end of follow-up (for those remained hospitalized) was recorded. Data were censored in events such as death or discharge without recovery. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression was used to explore the association between initial CT, clinical or laboratory findings, and discharge with recovery, whereby hazard ratio (HR) values < 1 indicated a lower rate of discharge at four weeks and longer time until discharge.
Thirty-two patients recovered and were discharged during the study period with a median length of admission of 16 days (range, 9 to 25 days), while the rest remained hospitalized at the end of this study (median, 17.5 days; range, 4 to 27 days). None died during the study period. After controlling for age, onset time, lesion characteristics, number of lung lobes affected, and bilateral involvement, the lung severity score on baseline CT (> 4 vs. ≤ 4 [reference]: adjusted HR = 0.41 [95% confidence interval, CI = 0.18–0.92], p = 0.031) and initial lymphocyte count (reduced vs. normal or elevated [reference]: adjusted HR = 0.14 [95% CI = 0.03–0.60], p = 0.008) were two significant independent factors that influenced recovery and discharge.
Lung severity score > 4 and reduced lymphocyte count at initial evaluation were independently associated with a significantly lower rate of recovery and discharge and extended hospitalization in patients admitted for COVID-19 pneumonia.


Coronavirus; 2019-nCoV; COVID-19; Computed tomography; CT; Pneumonia; Clinical course; Discharge; Hospitalization; Recovery; Outcome; Prognosis; Hospital stay; Admission; Prediction
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