Computed tomography (CT) and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are the recommended tools for the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The present study aimed to investigate the correlation between chest CT and RT-PCR while describing the atypical CT imaging features of COVID-19.
In this study, 418 patients in Jiangsu, China, clinically diagnosed with COVID-19 from January 10 to February 17, 2020, were included. Patients who fulfilled the following conditions were evaluated further: (1) Patients had positive RT-PCR and negative CT; (2) Patients had initial negative RT-PCR and positive CT, and follow-up PT-PCR tests were positive; (3) Patients had atypical CT findings.
Of the 418 initial chest CT scans, 30 (7.2%) patients had normal CT presentation, and 6 (1.4%) patients had initial negative RT-PCR results and positive CT scans. Next, 10 (2.4%) cases of patients showed atypical CT findings, including 2 case of solid nodule, 4 cases of halo sign (solid nodule or mass surrounded by ground glass opacity), and 4 cases of predominant fibrous stripes.
False-negative results can be found on both chest CT and RT-PCR; hence, the diagnosis of COVID-19 should consider both CT and RT-PCR. CT manifestations, such as solitary nodule, halo sign, and pulmonary fibrous stripes, might indicate the possibility of COVID-19 to the radiologists.