Retrospective Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Radiol. Jul 28, 2021; 13(7): 233-242
Published online Jul 28, 2021. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v13.i7.233
“Pulmonary target sign” as a diagnostic feature in chest computed tomography of COVID-19
Ramezan Jafari, Nematollah Jonaidi-Jafari, Houshyar Maghsoudi, Fatemeh Dehghanpoor, U Joseph Schoepf, Kyle A Ulversoy, Amin Saburi
Ramezan Jafari, Houshyar Maghsoudi, Fatemeh Dehghanpoor, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 11151877, Iran
Ramezan Jafari, Nematollah Jonaidi-Jafari, Amin Saburi, Health Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 11151877, Iran
U Joseph Schoepf, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, United States
Kyle A Ulversoy, Faculty of Medicine, Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership, Athens, GA 30606, United States
Amin Saburi, Chemical Injuries Research Center, Systems Biology and Poisonings Institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 11151877, Iran
Author contributions: Jafari R, Jonaidi-Jafari N and Saburi A deigned the study; Jafari R, Jonaidi-Jafari N, Maghsoudi H, Dehghanpoor F collected the data; Jafari R, Jonaidi-Jafari N, Schoepf UJ, Ulversoy KA, Saburi A interpreted the data; Schoepf UJ, Ulversoy KA and Saburi A prepared the initial draft; Saburi A, Ulversoy KA and Schoepf UJ edited the final draft; all authors proved the final manuscript.
Institutional review board statement: This study was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee of the Baqiyatallah University of Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Schoepf UJ receives institutional research support and / or personal fees for consulting and speaking from Bayer, Bracco, ElucidBioImagingGuerbet, Heart Flow, Inc., Keya Medical, and Siemens Healthineers. Other authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Amin Saburi, MD, Doctor, Senior Researcher, Health Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Mollasadra St, Vanak Sq, Tehran 11151877, Iran.
Received: January 29, 2021
Peer-review started: January 29, 2021
First decision: March 17, 2021
Revised: March 30, 2021
Accepted: June 15, 2021
Article in press: June 15, 2021
Published online: July 28, 2021
Research background

Chest computed tomography scan findings like bilateral ground glass opacities and consolidations are commonly used as distinguishing features in the differential diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, a problem in diagnosis arises when other viral or atypical pneumonia infections are suspected, as they may present similarly.

Research motivation

Pulmonary target sign (PTS) is a feature of COVID-19 that has been recently suggested as an atypical presentation of pulmonary involvement and may be used to distinguish COVID-19 from other similar pneumonia infections.

Research objectives

In this paper, the PTS and its characteristics were assessed among COVID-19 confirmed patients.

Research methods

Among all cases of COVID-19 that were referred to a tertiary medical center in Tehran, Iran, chest CT scan findings of 650 serologically positive cases of COVID-19 were evaluated for PTS and its characteristics.

Research results

32 individuals with at least one PTS in their CT scan were identified in which most of the PTSs were multiple in number, in a peripheral location, and near a bronchovascular bundle.

Research conclusions

The PTS has a frequency of about 5% and specific characteristics that may make it useful in the prompt diagnosis of COVID-19.

Research perspectives

The relationship between the presence of the PTS and the prognosis of COVID-19 still needs to be elucidated. Additionally, the mechanisms behind the pathogenesis and the timeline of PTS progression are suggested areas of research for future studies.