Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/content/full/181/6/1525

Joyce Y. H. Hui ; Danny H. Y. Cho ; Michael K. W. Yang ; K. Wang ; Kitty K. L. Lo ; W. C. Fan ; C. C. Chan ; C. M. Chu ; Tony K. L. Loke ; James C. S. Chan

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an emerging infection that is caused by a novel coronavirus [1–3]. Since its first outbreak in the Guandong province in southern China in November 2002, until now, 8,046 people have been infected [4]. The global case number is still growing every day. In Hong Kong, more than 1,722 individuals have been infected, with 193 patients admitted to our hospital as a result of an outbreak in a high-rise housing development.
The radiology department plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and management of SARS [5, 6]. Although chest radiography remains the most commonly used imaging modality in the investigation and treatment of patients with SARS, subtle changes such as ground-glass opacities, which are readily identifiable on high-resolution CT, are easily overlooked [7, 8]. Previous reports on SARS are mainly limited to findings on chest radiographs [9–11]. High-resolution CT helps to provide a more objective and better understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease by allowing a cross-sectional study of the pulmonary parenchymal abnormalities induced by the virus. Moreover, the natural history of SARS can be shown on serial examinations. Histologic examination of the pulmonary parenchyma obtained through transbronchial, video-assisted thoracoscopic or open-lung biopsies in patients with SARS is limited because of the high risk of infection associated with these procedures. The major advantage of high-resolution CT over histologic examination is its ability to assess the entire lung rather than relying on a small biopsy specimen. We report the radiologic manifestation of the disease with special emphasis on the high-resolution CT findings and its temporal progression.