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Chest Computed Tomography findings in patients with corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19): An initial experience in three centres in Ghana, West Africa

  • Sarkodie, Benjamin Dabo1
  • Mensah, Yaw Boateng1
  • Ayetey, Harold2
  • Dzefi-Tettey, Klenam3
  • Brakohiapa, Edmund1
  • Kaminta, Andrew4
  • Idun, Ewurama5
  • 1 Department of Radiology, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana
  • 2 Department of Medicine, University of Cape Coast School of Medicine, Cape Coast, Ghana
  • 3 Department of Radiology, Korlebu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
  • 4 Department of Radiology, Quest Medical Imaging Center, Accra, Ghana
  • 5 Department of Radiology, 37 Military Hospital, Accra, Ghana
Published Article
Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences
Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists.
Publication Date
Sep 19, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmir.2020.09.005
PMCID: PMC7501844
PubMed Central


Background Radiological examinations have a significant role in the diagnosis and management of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Many COVID-19 patients show typical Chest Computed Tomography (CT Scan) features which can aid in the diagnoses and triaging of such patients. This is especially so in resource-limited settings where access to molecular diagnostic techniques such as Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) is not optimal. We report chest CT findings in 28 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ghana. Objective To document common chest CT scan findings amongst patients with COVID-19 infection in Ghana. Method Chest CT scans of twenty-eight COVID-19 patients (n = 28) were retrieved and reviewed independently by two experienced radiologists and their findings documented. Two 64 and one 32 slice spiral CT scanners were used at three centres. Results Chest CT Images from 16 males (57.1.7%) and 12 females (42.9%) patients aged between 36 and 65 years with mean age of 55.9 years (SD-8.4years) were evaluated. Of these, 21 (75.0%) of them were COVID-19 patients who were undiagnosed at the time of imaging while 7 (25.0%) were known confirmed COVID-19 patients. On the chest CT scans (n = 28), 17 (66.7%) patients showed predominantly ground glass opacities while 12 (42.9%) had evidence of consolidation predominantly. In 26 (92.9%) of the patients, the opacities were bilateral and peripheral in distribution. None of these patients had pleural effusion. Conclusion COVID-19 patients tend to manifest typical imaging features on chest CT scan. The most common chest imaging finding was bilateral, peripheral and predominantly basal ground glass opacities. Importantly, these findings were frequently obtained before PCR diagnosis. Chest CT scan can help in the diagnosis and triaging of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients in jurisdictions with limited PCR diagnostic capacity and can improve early isolation, contact tracing and treatment thus helping to reduce community spread, morbidity and mortality.

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