Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on the Value of Chest CT in the Diagnosis of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Sol Scientiae, Illustra Nos

Adams, H. J. A., Kwee, T. C., Yakar, D., Hope, M. D. & Kwee, R. M., Dec-2020, In : American Journal of Roentgenology. 215, 6, p. 1342-1350 9 p.

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OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this article is to systematically review and meta-analyze the diagnostic accuracy of chest CT in detecting coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

MATERIALS AND METHODS. MEDLINE was systematically searched for publications on the diagnostic performance of chest CT in detecting COVID-19. Met hodologic quality was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS-2) tool. Meta-analysis was performed using a bivariate random-effects model.

RESULTS. Six studies were included, comprising 1431 patients. All six studies included patients at high risk of COVID-19, and five studies explicitly reported that they included only symptomatic patients. Mean prevalence of COVID-19 was 47.9% (range, 276-85.4%). High or potential risk of bias was present throughout all QUADAS-2 domains in all six studies. Sensitivity ranged from 92.9% to 970%, and specificity ranged from 25.0% to 71.9%, with pooled estimates of 94.6% (95% CI, 91.9-96.4%) and 46.0% (95% CI, 31.9-60.7%), respectively. The included studies were statistically homogeneous in their estimates of sensitivity (p = 0.578) and statistically heterogeneous in their estimates of specificity (p <0.001).

CONCLUSION. Diagnostic accuracy studies on chest Cl in COVID-19 suffer from methodologic quality issues. Chest CT appears to have a relatively high sensitivity in symptomatic patients at high risk of COVID-19, but it cannot exclude COVID-19. Specificity is poor. These data, along with other local factors such as COVID-19 prevalence, available real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction tests, staff, hospital, and CT scanning capacity, can be useful to healthcare professionals and policy makers to decide on the utility of chest CT for COVID-19 detection in the hospital setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1342-1350
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number6
Early online date1-Jun-2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2020


  • coronavirus disease, COVID-19, CT, infection, lung, viral infections, PNEUMONIA, OUTBREAK

ID: 126429572