Radiologists are in a prime position to support the timely detection and diagnosis of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to an article published online on 18 February in European Radiology.
The role of radiologists in managing the coronavirus outbreak has grown considerably since the Chinese National Health Commission announced that abnormal chest CT findings and clinical symptoms counted as an official method for diagnosing COVID-19 in early February.
In an editorial, Dr. Hyungjin Kim from Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea discussed several ways in which radiologists could contribute to managing the outbreak:
- Diagnosing coronavirus-infected pneumonia in individuals with abnormal chest CT findings
- Classifying disease severity in those with COVID-19 using CT-based lung involvement scoring
- Notifying clinicians of possible secondary bacterial infection, which can be as high as 19% in hospitalized patients with other strains of flu
- Educating trainees and other clinicians about COVID-19 imaging findings
- Exploring the potential benefits of using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to facilitate risk prioritization and help reduce treatment turnaround time
"Timely diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia would enable rapid management planning including further imaging follow-ups and conservative care," Kim wrote.