RSNA publishes new coronavirus CT case study

The Radiological Society of North America has published a new CT image case study of a woman diagnosed with coronavirus.

The case comes just one day after the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency in light of thousands of new cases in China, and definitive evidence of person-to-person contact in many other countries, including the United States.

As of today, the death toll from 2019-nCoV stands at 213, with nearly 9,800 total cases recorded worldwide, according to Chinese and WHO data.

Researchers from the First Hospital of Lanzhou University’s 2019-nCoV Investigating and Research Team detailed the case of a 33-year-old woman Friday, Jan. 31, in Radiology. The woman had worked in Wuhan, China, but traveled to nearby Lanzhou six days before she checked into the hospital with a history of fever and cough.

Unenhanced chest CT revealed multiple peripheral ground-glass opacities in both lungs that did not spare the subpleural regions, according to the report. According to a description of the images in the study, these are “common CT findings” of the 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia. Lab studies also showed leucopenia and elevated blood levels for C-reactive protein.

Based on “epidemiologic characteristics, clinical manifestations, chest images and laboratory findings,” the woman was diagnosed with 2019-nCoV pneumonia.

Following three days of treatment and interferon inhalation, the woman worsened with progressive pulmonary opacities found at repeat chest CT, Junqiang Lei, with Lanzhou University, and colleagues reported.

“Imaging exams are a key component in diagnosing 2019-nCoV,” according to a statement from RSNA. “Early disease recognition is critical not only for prompt treatment, but also for patient isolation and effective public health containment and response.”

RSNA also announced plans to publish a special report analyzing 21 cases of the virus, along with an accompanying editorial on the topic.

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