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Chest Computed Tomography (CT) Helps Distinguish COVID-19 from Flu, Study Reveals

A recent study has revealed that combining clinical variables with chest computed tomography (CT) could better differentiate the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from influenza pneumonia.

Photo: Family with Flu | InStyleHealth

Experts retrospectively evaluated 24 COVID-19 patients with average age of 46 years; 13 were men and 79 influenza patients with average age of 40 years; 50 were men. Looking at several chest CT features and clinical variables and calculating for their diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve (AUC).

Utilizing the univariate logistic analysis to screen potential distinguishing factors, subsequently confirmed through multivariate analysis.

There were 4 clinical factors utilized to identify influenza from COVID-19, which include temperature, systolic blood pressure, cough, and sputum production. Combining these variables, yielded an AUC of 0.819, as well as diagnostic sensitivity and specificity values of 0.783 and 0.747 accordingly.

For computed tomography (CT) features, researchers have found 9 factors with potential diagnostic value: central-peripheral, superior-inferior, and anterior-posterior distributions, patches of ground glass opacities (GGO), vascular enlargement in GGO, GGO nodules, interlobular septal thickening, air bronchogram, and bronchiectasis within focus.

Meanwhile, all of the chest computed tomography (CT) features had diagnostic AUC of 0.927, with sensitivity of 0.750, and specificity of 0.962. Using the multivariate logistic regression analysis to combine clinical factors and chest CT features. The model combination included six variables: systolic BP, sputum production, vascular enlargement in GGO, GGO nodule, central-peripheral distribution, and bronchiectasis with focus.

The said combined model turned out to have better diagnostic performance, with AUC, sensitivity, and specificity values of 0.961, 0.87, and 0.97, respectively. For complete details of this clinical study, click here.


Source: Sci Rep 2021;11:6422

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