Comparison of High-Resolution Computed Tomography and Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction in Diagnosis of COVID-19 Pneumonia in Intensive Care Unit Population

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2021 Feb 28;13(2):e13602. doi: 10.7759/cureus.13602.


Introduction The efficacy of high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) chest in common respiratory infections is well-established; however, its use in the diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia is less popular. The previous studies have failed to establish the efficacy of HRCT in the diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia. Objective The current study aimed to assess the efficacy of HRCT as compared to a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in diagnosing COVID-19 pneumonia in patients in our setting. Methodology A prospective observational study was conducted at the Department of Chest Medicine, Shifa International Hospital from April 2020 to December 2020. A total of 250 patients were admitted to medical intensive care units. Findings of HRCT and PCR were documented. The accuracy of HRCT compared with PCR was assessed. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 24 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY). Results COVID-19 infection was more prevalent in male patients (62.8% vs 37.2%). The mean age was 60 years (interquartile range, IQR, 49-72). Sensitivity and specificity of HRCT segregated into typical, indeterminate, and atypical HRCT were (94.8%, 56.8%), (92.7%, 47.2%), and (91.7%, 76.8%), respectively. The positive predictive value for typical HRCT was 84.3% (p≤0.001). Conclusion We concluded that typical HRCT findings have diagnostic utility in the diagnosis of COVID pneumonia. Similarly, a negative HRCT chest reliably excludes the possibility of COVID pneumonia. HRCT chest is a reliable alternative to RT-PCR.

PMID:33816001 | PMC:PMC8008368 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.13602

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