Usually, most of the patients infected with this virus have mild or moderate symptoms, or sometimes they can be totally asymptomatic. Nonetheless, the number of patients with more severe symptoms, albeit smaller is not negligible. In addition, we are increasingly getting warnings from doctors about the consequences that this virus causes, so a negative test doesn’t necessarily mean that the danger has passed, especially if the patient has had a severe form of pneumonia.
If you have had Covid 19 with pneumonia, it would be a good that after the treatment is over and you got negative results for the presence of virus in your body, you report for a check-up, which will include lung imaging.
In this way, if there are any changes in the lungs, you will be able to start the treatment process quickly and the range of consequences will be limited, and further deterioration of your health will be prevented.
Chest and Lung Imaging
If your doctor suspects that you have pneumonia caused by SARS CoV 2, they will suggest that Rtg or CT scan be done. Both imaging methods are good and can provide important information about the condition of your lungs, without which the treatment process can’t be well planned.
Both methods involve the use of X-rays and radiation levels pose no danger to the patient because during the examination they are not exposed for too long.
However, when you have pneumonia corona is only one of the possible causes. Besides viruses, pneumonia can be caused by bacterias also, so chest imaging isn’t going to be the only diagnostic method that you will need.
The X-ray machine detects the photochemical impact of X-rays on the silver emulsion on the film board. The part of the beam is retained in the process of passing through the skin, muscles, bones, airways, blood vessels, lymph nodes, lung tissue and the other part of them will be shown as a shadow of different light intensity.
Radiography (X-ray) is an older method of imaging and the validity of the obtained images is good, in addition to the more financially available method, therefore it is still used very often. However, early diagnosis of pneumonia caused by coronavirus is not always possible, as the earliest changest may not be visible using this method.
CT Scan of the Lungs
Multi-slice CT (MSCT) provides very detailed images of the cross-section of the body.
Thoracic CT scan helps in the diagnosis of diseases such as tuberculosis, bronchiextasis, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, different pulmonary diseases, interstitial and chronic lung diseases and lung cancer.
Like X-ray, CT scan also uses X-rays, but because of its more modern technological characteristics, it can give a more accurate insight into the condition of this organ, in relation to chest X-ray.
In some patients, this method chowed changes in the lungs, characteristic for coronavirus induced pneumonia, even before the PCR test showed positive results.
In Puls Cardiology Center we use a modern and very reliable 128 multi-slice Incisive CT Philips scan, which is available to you almost immediately as you can schedule your appointment within one day.
CT Scan Results of the Patient Who Tested Positive For Sars-Cov-2
CT scan results of the patient who tested positive for Sars-Cov-2 can be typical or atypical.
- The typical scan is characterized by „ground-glass opacity“ which is usually observed in the lower parts of both lungs. In addition, as inflammation develops, at a later stage you can see interstitial thickening, consolidation in different parts of the lungs, and thickening of the bronchial walls. If the patient didn’t receive adequate treatment for pneumonia lung fibrosis may develop in later stages.
- Atypical scan has ground glass changes in just one lung, cavities in lungs, small nodules that look like flower buds.
Lung Imaging After Covid 19
For some people that have had Covid 19, it’s not easy to return to their daily routines because they still feel some consequences of this disease, even weeks or months after their illness. The most common complaints are fatigue, breathing difficulty or shortness of breath, and arrhythmias.
The long-term impact of the coronavirus on the human body has not been sufficiently examined yet, and in this area, we are still waiting for more accurate and complete research findings. What is known so far is that this virus can leave consequences on the lungs but also on the heart, which is why post-disease check-up and lung imaging are very important.
CT lung scan, as a more modern and precise method, is more often recommended by experts and it should be found whether there has been a change of damaged lung tissue to dysfunctional scars or whether pulmonary fibrosis has developed, which leads to the thickening of the interstitial connective tissue in between alveolas and surrounding blood vessels.
Key information about the condition of your lungs after this disease is impossible to obtain without a chest X-ray or CT scan, therefore you shouldn’t delay this examination, especially if you are still experiencing some discomfort that makes your daily activities difficult.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease of pulmonary interstitial tissue in which alveolas, terminal bronchioles, aleolar ducts and blood vessels of the heart become thickened and altered by scar tissue. This scaring makes gas exchange in the lungs difficult and damages lung function.
This disease is progressive and incurable but it can be slowed down and kept under control if the patient goes to the doctor at the early stages. It’s impossible to heal the scars but it’s important to stop further tissue decay.
Pulmonary fibrosis symptoms are not the same in all patients and they depend on their age, lifestyle, type of fibrosis, and other factors, so it’s easy to ignore and confuse them with some other disease. Some of the most common symptoms are dry cough, weight loss, weakness, clubbing of the fingertips, and bluish discolorization of the skin.
The complications that arise from this disease are high blood pressure, right-sided heart failure, respiratory insufficiency. If left untreated pulmonary fibrosis leads to a decrease in lung capacity of 150 to 200 ml per year.
When we are talking about treatment and outcome of this disease, a lot of it depends on the patient himself, the stage of disease, and its type. Corticosteroids, cyclophosphamide, and azathioprine are the most common medications used. In addition, a healthy lifestyle is necessary, so patients are advised to quit smoking, maintain a healthy diet and regular light physical activity, etc.
If you feel any discomfort after you have had Covid 19 it is important to react on time and discover what is the condition of your lungs, that is whether the virus left some consequences. Even if you have fibrosis, due to the nature of the disease itself it is very important to start with the treatment as soon as possible together with a new healthy diet and lifestyle in general.
In Pulse Cardiology Center you can get a CT lung scan, after which our experts will quickly analyze the results, make a diagnosis and plan the course of treatment. In addition, our institution, as specially oriented to the treatment of cardiovascular diseases has an excellent team of specialists in the cardiology field, and you will be able to get advice and care in the same place if the virus left some consequences on your heart.