Chest CT and Hospital Outcomes in Patients with Omicron Compared with Delta Variant SARS-CoV-2 Infection.
Tsakok MT., Watson RA., Saujani SJ., Kong M., Xie C., Peschl H., Wing L., MacLeod FK., Shine B., Talbot NP., Benamore RE., Eyre DW., Gleeson F.
Background The SARS-Cov-2 Omicron variant demonstrates rapid spread but with reduced disease severity. Studies evaluating the lung imaging findings of Omicron infection versus non-Omicron variants remain lacking. Purpose To compare Omicron and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2 by their chest CT radiological pattern, biochemical parameters, clinical severity and hospital outcomes after adjusting for vaccination status. Materials and Methods Retrospective study of hospitalized adult patients rt-PCR positive for SARS-CoV-2 with CT pulmonary angiography performed within 7 days of admission between December 1, 2021 and January 14, 2022. Blinded radiological analysis with multiple readers including RSNA CT classification, chest CT severity score (CT-SS, range 0 least severe to 25 most severe) and CT imaging features including bronchial wall thickening. Results 106 patients (Delta n=66, Omicron n=40) were evaluated (mean age, 58 years ± 18, 58 men). In the Omicron group, 37% (15/40) of CT pulmonary angiograms were categorized as normal compared with 15% (10/66) in the Delta group (p=.016). Using a generalized linear model to control for confounding variables, including vaccination status, Omicron variant infection was associated with a CT-SS that was lower by 7.2 points compared to infection with Delta variant (β=-7.2, 95%CI: -9.9, -4.5; p