Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Objective: The chest radiograph (CXR) is the predominant imaging investigation being used to triage patients prior to either performing a SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or a diagnostic CT scan, but there are limited studies that assess the diagnostic accuracy of CXRs in COVID-19.To determine the accuracy of CXR diagnosis of COVID-19 compared with PCR in patients presenting with a clinical suspicion of COVID-19. Methods and materials: The CXR reports of 569 consecutive patients with a clinical suspicion of COVID-19 were reviewed, blinded to the PCR result and classified into the following categories: normal, indeterminate for COVID-19, classic/probable COVID-19, non-COVID-19 pathology, and not specified. Severity reporting and reporter expertise were documented. The subset of this cohort that had CXR and PCR within 3 days of each other were included for further analysis for diagnostic accuracy. Results: Classic/probable COVID-19 was reported in 29% (166/569) of the initial cohort. 67% (382/569) had PCR tests. 344 patients had CXR and PCR within 3 days of each other. Compared to PCR as the reference test, initial CXR had a 61% sensitivity and 76% specificity in the diagnosis of COVID-19. Conclusion: Initial CXR is useful as a triage tool with a sensitivity of 61% and specificity of 76% in the diagnosis of COVID-19 in a hospital setting. Advances in knowledge: .Diagnostic accuracy does not differ significantly between specialist thoracic radiologists and general radiologists including trainees following training.There was a 40% prevalence of PCR positive disease in the cohort of patients (n = 344) having CXR and PCR within 3 days of each other.Classic/probable COVID-19 was reported in 29% of total cohort of patients presenting with clinical suspicion of COVID-19 (n = 569).Initial CXR is useful as a triage tool with a sensitivity of 61% and specificity of 76% in the diagnosis of COVID-19 in a hospital setting.

Original publication

DOI

10.1259/bjro.20200034

Type

Journal article

Journal

BJR Open

Publication Date

2020

Volume

2