Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak: What the Department of Radiology Should Know

J Am Coll Radiol. 2020 Apr;17(4):447-451. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2020.02.008. Epub 2020 Feb 19.


In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pneumonia emerged in Wuhan, China. Since then, this highly contagious COVID-19 has been spreading worldwide, with a rapid rise in the number of deaths. Novel COVID-19-infected pneumonia (NCIP) is characterized by fever, fatigue, dry cough, and dyspnea. A variety of chest imaging features have been reported, similar to those found in other types of coronavirus syndromes. The purpose of the present review is to briefly discuss the known epidemiology and the imaging findings of coronavirus syndromes, with a focus on the reported imaging findings of NCIP. Moreover, the authors review precautions and safety measures for radiology department personnel to manage patients with known or suspected NCIP. Implementation of a robust plan in the radiology department is required to prevent further transmission of the virus to patients and department staff members.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; infection control; pneumonia; safety.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Infection Control / standards
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Radiology Department, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Radiology Department, Hospital / standards
  • SARS-CoV-2