The objective of the present study is to describe high-resolution CT (HRCT) chest manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients during second wave of the pandemic in a tertiary care hospital in New Delhi, India. We also aim to compare the findings on the HRCT chest during the second wave of COVID-19 with the data form earlier outbreaks and to look for any features specific to the second wave and thus indirectly to the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. We also assessed the severity of the pulmonary involvement based on HRCT findings.
We analysed HRCT chest findings in 237 patients with COVID-19 admitted at our institute from 1st April 2021 to 31st May 2021. Covid-19 infection was confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR) or rapid antigen test (RAT) in all these patients.
The mean age in our study group was 51.3 ± 12.1 years (range 19–79 years) comprising of 136 males (57.4%) and 101 females (42.6%). The majority of the patients showed bilateral (95.3%) and peripheral (42.6%) distribution of the disease. Ground glass opacities were the most common finding, seen in 214 (90.3%) patients, followed by interlobular septal thickening in 202 (85.8%) and crazy paving in 194 (81.3%) patients. Majority (36.7%) of these patients had a CT severity score above 20 indicating severe disease.
A typical pattern of peripheral subpleural often bilateral distribution of ground glass opacities on HRCT chest usually points to the possibility of COVID-19 pneumonia. The higher incidence of abnormalities on HRCT chest in patients with infection mainly from the delta variant of SARS-Cov-2 was mainly because of the more severe disease in the population. More research is needed to further evaluate the role of HRCT chest in the diagnosis of COVID-19 caused by different strains of the virus.