Radiology Perspective of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Lessons From Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020 May;214(5):1078-1082. doi: 10.2214/AJR.20.22969. Epub 2020 Feb 28.


OBJECTIVE. Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pulmonary illness coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China, more than 79,000 people have contracted the virus worldwide. The virus is rapidly spreading with human-to-human transmission despite imposed precautions. Because similar pulmonary syndromes have been reported from other strains of the coronavirus family, our aim is to review the lessons from imaging studies obtained during severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks. CONCLUSION. The review of experiences with the MERS and SARS outbreaks will help us better understand the role of the radiologist in combating the outbreak of COVID-19. The known imaging manifestations of the novel coronavirus and the possible unknowns will also be discussed.

Keywords: COVID-19; CT scan; chest; coronavirus; outbreak; pneumonia; radiography.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed