Computed Tomography of the Chest in Proved COVID-19 Infected Patients in Paediatric Age Group. What to Expect?

Document Type : Original Article


The Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University


Abstract Background: Worldwide, in children, pneumonia is the single leading cause of death. After COVID-19 crisis, many cases were reported as Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive COVID-19 in pediatric age group. In contrast to adults, most infected children appear to have milder disease course and have better outcomes. Early diagnosis can reduce spread of infection, help in gaining satisfactory outcomes and reduces disease morbidity and mortality rates. The main objective of our study is to be aware of CT imaging features of COVID-19 pneumonia in pediatric population. Aim of Study: The main goals of this study are to demon-strate different findings found in CT chest performed in pediatric age group admitted & proved to be infected with SARS-COV-2 by positive real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) & to monitor other associated additional radiological findings. Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional prospective study included fifty patients (33 males & 17 females) referred to us from pediatric outpatient clinic, their ages ranged from 3 months to 16 years with mean age being (5.66 years), all patients confirmed with COVID-19 infection by a positive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or a positive rapid antigen test and were referred for MSCT assessment of the chest. Results: This prospective study was carried out on fifty patients (33 males & 17 females), their ages ranged from 3 months to 16 years with mean age being (5.66 years). CT chest examination was done for all patients. CT findings were bilateral in 37 patients (23 males and 14 females) and unilateral in 13 patients (10 males and 3 females). In 37 patients with bilateral CT findings, the findings included consolidation in 23 patients (62.2%), ground glass patches in 37 patients (100%), pleural effusion in 6 patients (16.2%), and mediastinal lymphadenopathy in 8 patients (21.6%), atelectatic bands in 16 patients (43.2%). In patients with unilateral lesions, CT findings included consolidation in 5 patients (38.5%), ground glass patches in 13 patients (100%), pleural effusion in 3 patients (23.1%). The distribution of these findings were described within the study.
Conclusion: There is an increasing need to early detect COVID-19 pneumonia infection in pediatric age group and to be familiar with characteristic CT chest findings, as most of them act as carrier/transmitter and can increase infection rate among families. This research describes CT features of COVID-19 in pediatric age group thus providing early and satisfactory medical treatment & reduces viral transmission among families.