The Ethical Committee approved the study protocol, and waived for the acquisition of the informed consent, given the retrospective design.

By performing a search in the database of our COVID-19-center, we identified all the consecutive adult patients with suspected COVID-19 pneumonia who underwent chest HRCT examination in the period March-April 2020. Before HRCT, all patients performed RT-PCR test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in nasal-pharyngeal swabs, and were categorized according to the Italian Society of Emergency Medicine (SIMEU) classification of clinical phenotypes [19]. The latter included: (i) phenotype 1: fever without respiratory failure and normal chest X-ray; (ii) phenotype 2: fever with chest X-ray and arterial blood gas test indicating lung focus and/or mild respiratory failure [partial pressure of arterial blood oxygen (PaO2) > 60 mmHg]; (iii) phenotype 3: fever with moderate-severe respiratory failure (PaO2 < 60 mmHg in room air); (iv) phenotype 4: respiratory failure with suspected initial acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or complicated pneumonia; and (v) phenotype 5: overt ARDS [18]. Oxygen therapy and/or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilation were indicated in patients with SIMEU phenotypes 3–4 pneumonia, while orotracheal intubation with invasive ventilation was the treatment for SIMEU phenotypes 4–5 [19].

Of the 192 eligible subjects, we excluded 104 patients with negative RT-PCR test, and 11 patients with clinical phenotypes 3–5 at the time of HRCT. Therefore, the final population consisted of 77 patients (40 men and 37 women, mean age 64 ± 15 years) with mild COVID-19 pneumonia (i.e., SIMEU clinical phenotypes 1–2). In cases the patient had undergone several HRCT examinations, only the baseline one was included in the analysis.

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