Sequential battery of COVID-19 testing to maximize negative predictive value before surgeries

Rev Col Bras Cir. 2020;47:e20202634. doi: 10.1590/0100-6991e-20202634. Epub 2020 Jul 10.
[Article in Portuguese, En]


SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus which has proven to be highly contagious. Specific viral dynamics and immune response to the virus are yet to be fully defined and determining the sensitivity and specificity of the available testing methods is still a work in progress. This study examines the published information on the testing methods, and finds that yield of COVID-19 tests changes with specimen types and with time through course of illness. We propose a sequential battery of testing consisting of an epidemiologic survey, RT-PCR tests, serologic tests and chest CT on surgical candidates which may increase the negative predictive value, and facilitate surgical procedures.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Formation
  • Betacoronavirus
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Coronavirus Infections / immunology
  • Elective Surgical Procedures*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Virus Shedding

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 diagnostic testing
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2