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Follow-Up CT Patterns of Residual Lung Abnormalities in Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia Survivors: A Multicenter Retrospective Study

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Radiology Unit, Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, 42123 Reggio Emilia, Italy
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Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41121 Modena, Italy
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Clinical and Experimental Medicine PhD Program, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41121 Modena, Italy
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Department of Medicine and Surgery (DiMec), University of Parma, 43126 Parma, Italy
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Unit of Scienze Radiologiche, University Hospital of Parma, 43126 Parma, Italy
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Epidemiology Unit, Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
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Respiratory Disease Unit, Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, 42123 Reggio Emilia, Italy
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Rheumatology Unit, Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, 42123 Reggio Emilia, Italy
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Clinical Immunology, Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit, Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, 42123 Reggio Emilia, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Pietro Andrea Bonaffini and Clarissa Valle
Tomography 2022, 8(3), 1184-1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8030097
Received: 18 March 2022 / Revised: 14 April 2022 / Accepted: 15 April 2022 / Published: 20 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Advanced Medical Imaging Data Analysis in COVID-19)
Prior studies variably reported residual chest CT abnormalities after COVID-19. This study evaluates the CT patterns of residual abnormalities in severe COVID-19 pneumonia survivors. All consecutive COVID-19 survivors who received a CT scan 5–7 months after severe pneumonia in two Italian hospitals (Reggio Emilia and Parma) were enrolled. Individual CT findings were retrospectively collected and follow-up CT scans were categorized as: resolution, residual non-fibrotic abnormalities, or residual fibrotic abnormalities according to CT patterns classified following standard definitions and international guidelines. In 225/405 (55.6%) patients, follow-up CT scans were normal or barely normal, whereas in 152/405 (37.5%) and 18/405 (4.4%) patients, non-fibrotic and fibrotic abnormalities were respectively found, and 10/405 (2.5%) had post-ventilatory changes (cicatricial emphysema and bronchiectasis in the anterior regions of upper lobes). Among non-fibrotic changes, either barely visible (n = 110/152) or overt (n = 20/152) ground-glass opacities (GGO), resembling non-fibrotic nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) with or without organizing pneumonia features, represented the most common findings. The most frequent fibrotic abnormalities were subpleural reticulation (15/18), traction bronchiectasis (16/18) and GGO (14/18), resembling a fibrotic NSIP pattern. When multiple timepoints were available until 12 months (n = 65), residual abnormalities extension decreased over time. NSIP, more frequently without fibrotic features, represents the most common CT appearance of post-severe COVID-19 pneumonia. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; follow-up; CT scan; fibrotic changes; CT patterns COVID-19; follow-up; CT scan; fibrotic changes; CT patterns
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MDPI and ACS Style

Besutti, G.; Monelli, F.; Schirò, S.; Milone, F.; Ottone, M.; Spaggiari, L.; Facciolongo, N.; Salvarani, C.; Croci, S.; Pattacini, P.; Sverzellati, N. Follow-Up CT Patterns of Residual Lung Abnormalities in Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia Survivors: A Multicenter Retrospective Study. Tomography 2022, 8, 1184-1195. https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8030097

AMA Style

Besutti G, Monelli F, Schirò S, Milone F, Ottone M, Spaggiari L, Facciolongo N, Salvarani C, Croci S, Pattacini P, Sverzellati N. Follow-Up CT Patterns of Residual Lung Abnormalities in Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia Survivors: A Multicenter Retrospective Study. Tomography. 2022; 8(3):1184-1195. https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8030097

Chicago/Turabian Style

Besutti, Giulia, Filippo Monelli, Silvia Schirò, Francesca Milone, Marta Ottone, Lucia Spaggiari, Nicola Facciolongo, Carlo Salvarani, Stefania Croci, Pierpaolo Pattacini, and Nicola Sverzellati. 2022. "Follow-Up CT Patterns of Residual Lung Abnormalities in Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia Survivors: A Multicenter Retrospective Study" Tomography 8, no. 3: 1184-1195. https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography8030097

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