PLoS One

. 2021 Jan 14;16(1):e0245547.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0245547. eCollection 2021.
Clinical and radiological findings of adult hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia from SARS-CoV-2 and endemic human coronaviruses

Moon Seong Baek 1 , Min Jae Cha 2 , Min-Chul Kim 3 , Jin-Won Chung 3 , Won-Young Kim 1 , Hyewon Choi 2 , Seong-Ho Choi 3



Endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are members of the family Coronaviridae. Comparing the findings of the infections caused by these viruses would help reveal the novel characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 and provide insight into the unique pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. This study aimed to compare the clinical and radiological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 and endemic HCoVs infection in adult hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). This study was performed at a university-affiliated tertiary hospital in the Republic of Korea, between January 1, 2015, and July 31, 2020. A total of 109 consecutive patients who were over 18 years of age with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 and endemic HCoVs were enrolled. Finally, 19 patients with SARS-CoV-2 CAP were compared to 40 patients with endemic HCoV CAP. Flu-like symptoms such as cough, sore throat, headache, myalgia, and prolonged fever were more common in SARS-CoV-2 CAP, whereas clinical findings suggestive of bacterial pneumonia such as dyspnea, leukocytosis with left shift, and increased C-reactive protein were more common in endemic HCoV CAP. Bilateral peripherally distributed ground-glass opacities (GGOs) were typical radiologic findings in SARS-CoV-2 CAP, whereas mixed patterns of GGOs, consolidations, micronodules, and pleural effusion were observed in endemic HCoV CAP. Coinfection was not observed in patients with SARS-CoV-2 CAP, but was observed in more than half of the patients with endemic HCoV CAP. There were distinctive differences in the clinical and radiologic findings between SARS-CoV-2 and endemic HCoV CAP. Further investigations are required to elucidate the mechanism underlying this difference. Follow-up observations are needed to determine if the presentation of SARS-CoV-2 CAP changes with repeated infection.