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43P Incidentally discovered suspicious lung lesions in hospitalized patients during the COVID-19 pandemic in Georgia

      Background: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, chest CT has been broadly used for diagnosing and monitoring Covid-19 pneumonia in hospitalized patients in Georgia. Pulmonary lesions are common incidental findings, but the information about the rate of their incidental detection in our country is lacking. The purpose of this study was to examine recent trends in incidental pulmonary lesion identification in hospitalized patients in Georgia and to find out if the percentage of accidentally discovered pulmonary lesions on CT scans would be different in patients with confirmed COVID-19 disease versus in patients who were COVID-19 free.
      Methods: We retrieved the electronic records of performed CT scans of hospitalized patients and calculated the number of accidentally discovered lung lesions throughout 3 consecutive months and analyzed the data. We divided the data into two categories: results from confirmed COVID-19 cases and results from Covid-free patients.
      Results: From the retrieved total of 2498 performed CT records, 2384 matched the inclusion criteria (with an inclusion rate of 95%). Suspicious lung lesions were detected in a total of 181 patients (4.3%); Out of which: 32% – single pulmonary nodules; 15.5% – a lung mass; 13% – multiple pulmonary nodules; 41.9% – Otherwise undefined, suspicious pulmonary lesion. From the total of 2384 cases, COVID-19 was confirmed in 1316 patients (55%). Suspicious lung lesions were detected in 86 (6.5%) of patients. Out of which: 26.7% – single pulmonary nodules; 16% – a lung mass; 14% – multiple pulmonary nodules; 43% – Otherwise undefined, suspicious pulmonary lesion. From the total of 2384 cases, 1140 were COVID-free (47.8%). Suspicious lung lesions were detected in 95 (8.9%) of patients. Out of which: 37% – single pulmonary nodules; 15% – a lung mass; 13% – multiple pulmonary nodules; 41% – Otherwise undefined, suspicious pulmonary lesion.
      Conclusions: We conclude that the percentage of incidentally discovered pulmonary lesions in hospitalized patients in the given period is 4.3% in Georgia and this number is not significantly different in patients with or without confirmed COVID-19 disease. Additional research is required for a better understanding of the results.
      Legal entity responsible for the study: The authors.
      Funding: Has not received any funding.
      Disclosure: All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.