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Gresser, Eva; Rueckel, Johannes; Puhr-Westerheide, Daniel; Schwarze, Vincent; Fink, Nicola; Kunz, Wolfgang G.; Wassilowsky, Dietmar; Irlbeck, Michael; Ricke, Jens; Ingrisch, Michael and Sabel, Bastian O. (2020): Prognostic Value of Admission Chest CT Findings for Invasive Ventilation Therapy in COVID-19 Pneumonia. In: Diagnostics, Vol. 10, No. 12, 1108

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(1) Background: To assess the value of chest CT imaging features of COVID-19 disease upon hospital admission for risk stratification of invasive ventilation (IV) versus no or non-invasive ventilation (non-IV) during hospital stay. (2) Methods: A retrospective single-center study was conducted including all patients admitted during the first three months of the pandemic at our hospital with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 disease and admission chest CT scans (n = 69). Using clinical information and CT imaging features, a 10-point ordinal risk score was developed and its diagnostic potential to differentiate a severe (IV-group) from a more moderate course (non-IV-group) of the disease was tested. (3) Results: Frequent imaging findings of COVID-19 pneumonia in both groups were ground glass opacities (91.3%), consolidations (53.6%) and crazy paving patterns (31.9%). Characteristics of later stages such as subpleural bands were observed significantly more often in the IV-group (52.2% versus 26.1%, p = 0.032). Using information directly accessible during a radiologist's reporting, a simple risk score proved to reliably differentiate between IV- and non-IV-groups (AUC: 0.89 (95% CI 0.81-0.96), p < 0.001). (4) Conclusions: Information accessible from admission CT scans can effectively and reliably be used in a scoring model to support risk stratification of COVID-19 patients to improve resource and allocation management of hospitals.

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