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Frequency and spectrum of incidental findings when using chest CT as a primary triage tool for COVID-19

Authors
  • Kilsdonk, Iris D.1
  • de Roos, Marlise P.2
  • Bresser, Paul2
  • Reesink, Herre J.2
  • Peringa, Jan1
  • 1 Department of Radiology, OLVG Hospital, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 2 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, OLVG Hospital, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Journal of Radiology Open
Publisher
Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Publication Date
Jun 25, 2021
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejro.2021.100366
PMID: 34189189
PMCID: PMC8226060
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Purpose To determine the prevalence and spectrum of incidental findings (IFs) identified in patients undergoing chest CT as a primary triage tool for COVID-19. Methods In this study 232 patients were triaged in our COVID-19 Screening Unit by means of a chest CT (March 25 – April 23, 2020). Original radiology reports were evaluated retrospectively for the description of IFs, which were defined as any finding in the report not related to the purpose of the scan. Documented IFs were categorized according to clinical relevance into minor and potentially significant IFs and according to anatomical location into pulmonary, mediastinal, cardiovascular, breast, upper abdominal and skeletal categories. IFs were reported as frequencies and percentages; descriptive statistics were used. Results In total 197 IFs were detected in 126 patients (54% of the participants). Patients with IFs were on average older (54.0 years old, SD 16.6) than patients without IFs (44.8 years old, SD 14.6, P < 0.05). In total 60 potentially significant IFs were detected in 53 patients (23% of the participants). Most often reported were coronary artery calcifications (n = 23, 38% of total potentially significant IFs/ 10% of the total study population), suspicious breast nodules (n = 8, 14% of total potentially significant IFs/ 3% of the total study population) and pulmonary nodules (n = 7, 12% of total potentially significant IFs/ 3% of the total study population). Conclusion A considerable number of IFs were detected by using chest CT as a primary triage tool for COVID-19, of which a substantial percentage (23%) is potentially clinically relevant.

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