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Background The SARS-Cov-2 Omicron variant demonstrates rapid spread but reduced disease severity. Studies evaluating lung imaging findings of Omicron infection versus non-Omicron infection remain lacking. Purpose To compare the Omicron variant with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant according to their chest CT radiologic pattern, biochemical parameters, clinical severity, and hospital outcomes after adjusting for vaccination status. Materials and Methods This retrospective study included hospitalized adult patients with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test results positive for SARS-CoV-2, with CT pulmonary angiography performed within 7 days of admission between December 1, 2021, and January 14, 2022. Multiple readers performed blinded radiologic analyses that included RSNA CT classification, chest CT severity score (CTSS) (range, 0 [least severe] to 25 [most severe]), and CT imaging features, including bronchial wall thickening. Results A total of 106 patients (Delta group, n = 66; Omicron group, n = 40) were evaluated (overall mean age, 58 years ± 18 [SD]; 58 men). In the Omicron group, 37% of CT pulmonary angiograms (15 of 40 patients) were categorized as normal compared with 15% (10 of 66 patients) of angiograms in the Delta group (P = .016). A generalized linear model was used to control for confounding variables, including vaccination status, and Omicron infection was associated with a CTSS that was 7.2 points lower than that associated with Delta infection (β = -7.2; 95% CI: -9.9, -4.5; P < .001). Bronchial wall thickening was more common with Omicron infection than with Delta infection (odds ratio [OR], 2.4; 95% CI: 1.01, 5.92; P = .04). A booster shot was associated with a protective effect for chest infection (median CTSS, 5; IQR, 0-11) when compared with unvaccinated individuals (median CTSS, 11; IQR, 7.5-14.0) (P = .03). The Delta variant was associated with a higher OR of severe disease (OR, 4.6; 95% CI: 1.2, 26; P = .01) and admission to a critical care unit (OR, 7.0; 95% CI: 1.5, 66; P = .004) when compared with the Omicron variant. Conclusion The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant was associated with fewer and less severe changes on chest CT images compared with the Delta variant. Patients with Omicron infection had greater frequency of bronchial wall thickening but less severe disease and improved hospital outcomes when compared with patients with Delta infection. © RSNA, 2022 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





261 - 269


Adult, Male, Humans, Middle Aged, SARS-CoV-2, Retrospective Studies, COVID-19, Hospitals, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Hepatitis D