J Korean Soc Radiol.  2021 Jan;82(1):139-151. 10.3348/jksr.2020.0094.

Chest CT Findings of COVID-19 Patients with Mild Clinical Symptoms at a Single Hospital in Korea

  • 1Departments of Radiology, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Departments of Internal Medicine, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Korea


To retrospectively evaluate the chest computed tomography (CT) findings of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with mild clinical symptoms at a single hospital in South Korea.
Materials and Methods
CT scans of 87 COVID-19 patients [43 men and 44 women; median age: 41 years (interquartile range: 26.1–51.0 years)] with mild clinical symptoms (fever < 38℃ and no dyspnea) were evaluated.
CT findings were normal in 39 (44.8%) and abnormal in 48 (55.2%) patients. Among the 48 patients with lung opacities, 17 (35.4%) had unilateral disease and 31 (64.6%) had bilateral disease. One (2.1%) patient showed subpleural distribution, 9 (18.8%) showed peribronchovascular distribution, and 38 (79.2%) showed subpleural and peribronchovascular distributions. Twenty-two (45.8%) patients had pure ground-glass opacities (GGOs) with no consolidation, 17 (35.4%) had mixed opacities dominated by GGOs, and 9 (18.8%) had mixed opacities dominated by consolidation. No patients demonstrated consolidation without GGOs.
The most common CT finding of COVID-19 in patients with mild clinical symptoms was bilateral multiple GGO-dominant lesions with subpleural and peribronchovascular distribution and lower lung predilection. The initial chest CT of almost half of COVID-19 patients with mild clinical symptoms showed no lung parenchymal lesions. Compared to relatively severe cases, mild cases were more likely to manifest as unilateral disease with pure GGOs or GGOdominant mixed opacities and less likely to show air bronchogram.


COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Pneumonia; Viral; Computed Tomography; X-Ray
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