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Rapid onset of bronchiectasis in COVID-19 Pneumonia: two cases studied with CT

Ambrosetti MC, Battocchio G, Zamboni GA, Fava C, Tacconelli E, Mansueto G

Since the widespread of acute respiratory syndrome infection caused by Coronavirus-19 unenhanced computed tomography (CT) was considered an useful imaging tool commonly used in early diagnosis and monitoring of patients with complicated COVID-19 pneumonia. Many typical imaging features of this disease were described such as bilateral multilobar ground-glass opacification (GGO) with a prevalent peripheral or posterior distribution, mainly in the lower lobes, and sometimes consolidative opacities superimposed on GGO. As less common findings were mentioned septal thickening, bronchiectasis, pleural thickening, and subpleural involvement. After 3 months from the onset of COVID-19 pneumonia some studies published the evolution of imaging features of COVID-19 pneumonia such as an increase of GGOs and a progressive transformation of GGO into multifocal consolidative opacities, septal thickening, and development of a crazy-paving pattern. As far as we know bronchiectasis were described only as a possible aspecific imaging feature of COVID-19 pneumonia and no studies reporting the onset or evolution of bronchiectasis during imaging follow-up in patients with COVID-19 have been published. Here we describe two cases of rapid evolution of bronchiectasis documented at CT in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. Further studies are necessary to determine predisposing factors to the onset of bronchiectasis and to evaluate clinical correlation with respiratory distress. Radiologists should always consider bronchial features when they report CT scans of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Keywords: COVID-19; Chest CT; bronchiectasis; follow-up.

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