An multinational consensus statement from the Fleischner Society on the role of chest imaging in the management of patients with COVID-19 was published in April 2020 (FDA).
Patients with mild features of COVID-19
Imaging is advised for patients with risk factors for COVID-19 progression and either positive COVID-19 testing or moderate-to-high pre-test probability in the absence of COVID-19 testing.
Imaging is not indicated in asymptomatic patients or those with suspected COVID-19 and mild clinical features unless they are at risk for disease progression.
Imaging is indicated in COVID-19 patients with worsening respiratory status.
Patients with moderate-to-severe features of COVID-19
Imaging is advised regardless of the results or availability of COVID-19 testing for patients who present with moderate-to-severe features consistent with COVID-19 infection and a pre-test probability of infection.
For patients with COVID-19, imaging establishes baseline pulmonary status and identifies underlying cardiopulmonary abnormalities that may facilitate risk stratification for clinical worsening.
Patients with moderate-to severe-features of COVID-19 in a resource-constrained environment
Imaging is advised when point-of-care COVID-19 testing is available and positive.
Imaging is indicated for medical triage in resource-constrained environments for patients with suspected COVID-19 with moderate-to-severe clinical features and high pretest probability of the virus.
There is no role for imaging of patients with mild features of COVID-19 if there are significant constraints on resources.
Patients recovered from COVID-19
Imaging is appropriate in patients with functional impairment and/or hypoxemia after recovery from COVID-19.
Daily chest radiographs are not indicated in stable intubated patients with COVID-19.
COVID-19 testing is indicated in patients who are found incidentally to have typical findings of the virus on a CT scan.
For more Clinical Practice Guidelines, go to COVID-19 Clinical Guidelines.
For more information, go to Novel Coronavirus Resource Center and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
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Cite this: Consensus Statement on Chest Imaging in Patients with COVID-19 (Fleischner Society, 2020) - Medscape - Apr 27, 2020.