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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 282-287

Accuracy of noncontrast chest computed tomography in COVID-19 infection: An observational and retrospective study

1 Department of Radiology, Sheheed Al-Mihrab Center of Cardiac Surgery and Catheterization, Babil Health Directorate, Hilla, Iraq
2 Department of Radiology, Babylon Maternity and Pediatrics Hospital, Babil Health Directorate, Hilla, Iraq
3 Department of Radiology, Merjan Medical City, Babil Health Directorate, Hilla, Iraq
4 Department of Medical Education, Hamurabi College of Medicine, University of Babylon, Hilla, Iraq
5 Department of Medicine, Merjan Medical City, Babil Health Directorate, Hilla, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Zaid Hadi Hammoodi
Department of Radiology, Merjan Medical City, Babil Health Directorate, Hilla
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_47_20

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Objective: During the novel coronavirus pandemic, great challenges are becoming prominent, such as early and rapid diagnoses using simple and readily available tests. Chest computed tomography (CT) scan plays a major role in the diagnosis and monitoring of the complications with high specificity. The purpose of this study is to assess the accuracy of nonenhanced chest CT scan in the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease in suspected patients. Materials and Methods: Eighty four suspected patients were included in this retrospective study from March 1, 2020, to April 1, 2020, who underwent both nonenhanced chest CT scan and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 disease. Results: The total number of initial reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR-positive results was 52 (61.9%) patients and that of negative results was 32 (38%) patients. Out of the total number of positive RT-PCR tests, only fifty (96%) patients showed positive CT findings. Of the total number of negative RT-PCR tests (32 [38%] patients), only 8 (25%) patients showed negative CT results. With RT-PCR results as the reference standard, the sensitivity, specificity, and the accuracy of chest CT in indicating the COVID-19 infection were 96.15%, 25%, and 69.04%, respectively. Ground-glass opacity (GGO) was seen in all positive CT patients (74 [100%]), mixed GGO was seen in 27 (36.4%) patients, and consolidation was seen in 36 (48.6%) patients which was subsegmental in 28 (37.8%) patients. Vascular dilatation sign was seen in 61 (82.4%) patients, crazy paving sign was seen in 31 (41.9%) patients, reverse halo signs were seen in 23 (31%) patients, and air bronchogram was seen in 39 (52.7%) patients. Conclusions: Highly characteristic and specific bilateral multifocal GGOs were reported as the classical/typical chest CT features of COVID-19 infection with high confidence rate, although it may vary in different patients' parameters and stages so that chest CT imaging has very high sensitivity (96.15%) for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in epidemic areas with high pretest probability for disease, and it is recommended to be included as a decision-making diagnostic test in suspected patients with RT-PCR-negative results.

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