What is the Role of Chest CT Scan for Pediatric Patient Diagnosis of COVID-19?

Author(s): Yaqin Zhang, Guangming Li, Hongsheng Liu, Binghui Chen, Zeyu Cai, Yingqin Li, Aamer Chughtai.

Objective: To retrospectively analyze the CT imaging features and patterns at baseline and as they evolve with time as the disease progresses or resolves in a cohort of pediatric patients affected with 2019 corona virus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia from three different cities in China.

Methods: We evaluated 29 pediatric patients with COVID-19 in the authors’ institution from Jan 1 to Feb 20, 2020. Cases were confirmed by laboratory test and were analyzed for epidemiological, demographic, clinical, radiological features and patterns.

Results: 29 initial scans and 23 follow-up scans were obtained from 29 patients. 15(52%) patients had been to Hubei Province and 26 (90%) of them had close contact with the COVID-19 positive patients in 14 days prior to the illness onset. The peak severity time was 5-8 days after symptom onset. A significant difference between the number of involved segments at different time points was indicated (p=0.019). Half (52%) of the laboratory confirmed patients had no CT positive findings. Nine (31%) of the laboratory confirmed patients had no symptoms. Six (21%) had no CT positive findings or symptoms. All the patients of one center (n=6) whose fecal samples remained positive after the respiratory samples became negative.

Conclusion: The common positive CT findings included ground-glass opacities (50%), ground-glass opacities mixed with consolidation (36%), peribronchial thickening (21%), and consolidations (14%). We recommend for pediatric patients CT should not be used as a first-line test to diagnose COVID-19.

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