Chest CT and Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): A Critical Review of the Literature to Date

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020 Oct;215(4):839-842. doi: 10.2214/AJR.20.23202. Epub 2020 Apr 16.


OBJECTIVE. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a global pandemic. Studies in the radiology literature have suggested that CT might be sufficiently sensitive and specific in diagnosing COVID-19 when used in lieu of a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test; however, this suggestion runs counter to current society guidelines. The purpose of this article is to critically review some of the most frequently cited studies on the use of CT for detecting COVID-19. CONCLUSION. To date, the radiology literature on COVID-19 has consisted of limited retrospective studies that do not substantiate the use of CT as a diagnostic test for COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; CT; coronavirus; infection; sensitivity; specificity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*