On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared infection related to a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) a pandemic. The role and impact of imaging predates this declaration and continues to change rapidly. This article is a consensus statement provided by the Canadian Society of Thoracic Radiology and the Canadian Association of Radiologists outlining the role of imaging in COVID-19 patients. The objectives are to answer key questions related to COVID-19 imaging of the chest and provide guidance for radiologists who are interpreting such studies during this pandemic. The role of chest radiography (CXR), computed tomography (CT), and lung ultrasound is discussed. This document attempts to answer key questions for the imager when dealing with this crisis, such as "When is CXR appropriate in patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection?" or "How should a radiologist deal with incidental findings of COVID-19 on CT of the chest done for other indications?" This article also provides recommended reporting structure for CXR and CT, breaking diagnostic possibilities for both CXR and CT into 3 categories: typical, nonspecific, and negative based on imaging findings with representative images provided. Proposed reporting language is also outlined based on this structure. As our understanding of this pandemic evolves, our appreciation for how imaging fits into the workup of patients during this unprecedented time evolves as well. Although this consensus statement was written using the most recent literature, it is important to maintain an open mind as new information continues to surface.
Keywords: COVID-19; chest computed tomography; chest radiograph; infection; lung ultrasound; pneumonia.
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