TUESDAY, March 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Chest computed tomography (CT) has a low rate of misdiagnosis of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a study published online March 4 in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Yan Li, Ph.D., and Liming Xia, M.D., both from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, reviewed clinical information, CT images, and corresponding image reports from the first 51 patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 infection confirmed by nucleic acid testing (23 women and 28 men; age range, 26 to 83 years) and two patients with adenovirus (one woman and one man; ages 58 and 66 years).

The researchers report that COVID-19 was misdiagnosed as a common infection in the initial CT study in two inpatients with underlying disease and COVID-19. At the initial CT study, viral pneumonia was correctly diagnosed in the remaining 49 patients with COVID-19 and two patients with adenovirus. Common CT features of COVID-19 included ground-glass opacities and consolidation with or without vascular enlargement, interlobular septal thickening, and air bronchogram sign. Uncommon CT features included the “reversed halo” sign and pulmonary nodules with a halo sign. The investigators noted overlap between the CT findings of COVID-19 and the CT findings of adenovirus infection.

“We found that chest CT had a low rate of missed diagnosis of COVID-19 (3.9 percent; two of 51) and may be useful as a standard method for the rapid diagnosis of COVID-19 to optimize the management of patients,” the authors write.

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