Keywords : Chest Radiography
Potential of Conventional Chest Radiography as a diagnostic and follow up imaging tool in COVID pandemic era
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 11, Pages 5138-5147
Background - The present radiological COVID literature is mainly confined to the CT findings . Using High Resolution Computed tomography (HRCT) as a regular 1st line investigation put a large burden on radiology department and constitute a huge challenge for the infection control in CT suite. Materials and methods - A prospective study of 700 consecutive COVID positive cases who underwent Chest Xray (CXR) and HRCT thorax were included in the study. Many of these CXR were repeated and followed up over a duration of time to see the progression of disease. Results - 392/700 (56%) were found to be negative for radiological thoracic involvement. 147/700 (21%) COVID positive patients showed lung consolidations, 115/700 (16.5%) presented with GGO, 40/700 (5.7%) with nodules and 42/700 (6%) with reticular–nodular opacities. 150/700 patients (21.4 %) had mild findings with total RALE severity score of 1-2. More extensive involvement was seen in 104/700 (14.8 %) and 43/700 (6.2%) patients, who had severity scores of 3-4 and 5-6 respectively. 11/700 patients had a severity score of >6 on their baseline CXR. Those with severity score of 5 or more than 5 (54/700, 7.7%) required aggressive treatment with mean duration of stay of 14 days, many of them died also (23/54, 42.5%).
Conclusion - In cases of high clinical suspicion for COVID-19, a positive CXR may obviate the need for CT. Additionally, CXR utilization for early disease detection and followup may also play a vital role in areas around the world with limited access to CT and RT-PCR test.