As COVID-19 spreads in the US, there is growing interest in the role and appropriateness of chest radiographs (CXR) and computed tomography (CT) for the screening, diagnosis and management of patients with suspected or known COVID-19 infection. Contributing to this interest are limited availability of viral testing kits to date, concern for test sensitivity from earlier reports in China, and the growing number of publications describing the CXR and CT appearance in the setting of known or suspected COVID-infection.
To date, most of the radiologic data comes from China. Some studies suggest that chest CT in particular may be positive in the setting of a negative test. We want to emphasize that knowledge of this new condition is rapidly evolving, and not all of the published and publicly available information is complete or up-to-date.
Key goals for the U.S. health care system in response to the COVID-19 outbreak are to reduce morbidity and mortality, minimize disease transmission, protect health care personnel, and preserve health care system functioning.
The ACR believes that the following factors should be considered regarding the use of imaging for suspected or known COVID-19 infection:
Additionally, there are issues related to infection control in health care facilities, including the use of imaging equipment:
Centers for Disease Control:
Radiologic articles and collections:
ACR Issues Statement for Use of Chest Radiography, CT for Suspected COVID-19 Infection. Appl Radiol.