COVID-19 pneumonia: the great radiological mimicker

Link to article at PubMed

Insights Imaging. 2020 Nov 23;11(1):118. doi: 10.1186/s13244-020-00933-z.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has rapidly spread worldwide since December 2019. Although the reference diagnostic test is a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), chest-computed tomography (CT) has been frequently used in diagnosis because of the low sensitivity rates of RT-PCR. CT findings of COVID-19 are well described in the literature and include predominantly peripheral, bilateral ground-glass opacities (GGOs), combination of GGOs with consolidations, and/or septal thickening creating a "crazy-paving" pattern. Longitudinal changes of typical CT findings and less reported findings (air bronchograms, CT halo sign, and reverse halo sign) may mimic a wide range of lung pathologies radiologically. Moreover, accompanying and underlying lung abnormalities may interfere with the CT findings of COVID-19 pneumonia. The diseases that COVID-19 pneumonia may mimic can be broadly classified as infectious or non-infectious diseases (pulmonary edema, hemorrhage, neoplasms, organizing pneumonia, pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, sarcoidosis, pulmonary infarction, interstitial lung diseases, and aspiration pneumonia). We summarize the imaging findings of COVID-19 and the aforementioned lung pathologies that COVID-19 pneumonia may mimic. We also discuss the features that may aid in the differential diagnosis, as the disease continues to spread and will be one of our main differential diagnoses some time more.

PMID:33226521 | DOI:10.1186/s13244-020-00933-z

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *