Postmortem imaging of the lung in cases of COVID-19 deaths

Link to article at PubMed

Radiologe. 2020 Aug 18. doi: 10.1007/s00117-020-00733-y. Online ahead of print.


CLINICAL/METHODOLOGICAL ISSUE: COVID-19 is a new viral disease that is associated with inflammatory pulmonary changes which can be detected in computed tomography (CT). So far postmortem CT (PMCT) has not been used as a screening instrument for the evaluation of deaths with and without autopsy. In this respect, its validity has to be proved in comparison to clinical-radiological experiences.

STANDARD RADIOLOGICAL METHODS: Postmortem CT METHODICAL INNOVATIONS: So far, PMCT can be regarded as a methodological innovation that has not yet been sufficiently evaluated for pneumonia.

PERFORMANCE: CT in clinical routine has a high sensitivity for pneumonia. However, to what extent postmortem artifacts are relevant to PMCT still has to be determined.

ACHIEVEMENTS: There is still no standard procedure for the postmortem radiological diagnosis of COVID-19 disease. Despite postmortem artifacts, PMCT can provide valuable information about the presence of pneumonia with interstitial character, especially without autopsy.

PRACTICAL RECOMMENDATIONS: PMCT is particularly useful in the assessment of suspected cases of COVID-19 pneumonia for morphological assessment in the context of monitoring deaths in the current pandemic situation.

PMID:32809036 | DOI:10.1007/s00117-020-00733-y

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