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Zhen-zhen Jiang, Cong He, De-qing Wang, Hua-liang Shen, Jia-li Sun, Wan-ni Gan, Jia-ying Lu, Xia-tian Liu
(Department of Ultrasound, Shaoxing People’s Hospital (Shaoxing Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine), Shaoxing, Zhejiang, China (mainland))
Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e924582
In December 2019, an outbreak of coronavirus infection emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China, which is now named Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The outbreak spread rapidly within mainland China and globally. This paper reviews the different imaging modalities used in the diagnosis and treatment process of COVID-19, such as chest radiography, computerized tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound examination, and positron emission tomography (PET/CT) scan. A chest radiograph is not recommended as a first-line imaging modality for COVID-19 infection due to its lack of sensitivity, especially in the early stages of infection. Chest CT imaging is reported to be a more reliable, rapid, and practical method for diagnosis of COVID-19, and it can assess the severity of the disease and follow up the disease time course. Ultrasound, on the other hand, is portable and involves no radiation, and thus can be used in critically ill patients to assess cardiorespiratory function, guide mechanical ventilation, and identify the presence of deep venous thrombosis and secondary pulmonary thromboembolism. Supplementary information can be provided by PET/CT. In the absence of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential. Therefore, it is important to exploit the advantages of different imaging modalities in the fight against COVID-19.