COVID-19 imaging: What we know now and what remains unknown

Jeffrey P. Kanne, Harrison Bai, Adam Bernheim, Michael Chung, Linda B. Haramati, David F. Kallmes, Brent P. Little, Geoffrey Rubin, Nicola Sverzellati

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Infection with SARS-CoV-2 ranges from an asymptomatic condition to a severe and sometimes fatal disease, with mortality most frequently being the result of acute lung injury. The role of imaging has evolved during the pandemic, with CT initially being an alternative and possibly superior testing method compared with reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing and evolving to having a more limited role based on specific indications. Several classification and reporting schemes were developed for chest imaging early during the pandemic for patients suspected of having COVID-19 to aid in triage when the availability of RT-PCR testing was limited and its level of performance was unclear. Interobserver agreement for categories with findings typical of COVID-19 and those suggesting an alternative diagnosis is high across multiple studies. Furthermore, some studies looking at the extent of lung involvement on chest radiographs and CT images showed correlations with critical illness and a need for mechanical ventilation. In addition to pulmonary manifestations, cardiovascular complications such as thromboembolism and myocarditis have been ascribed to COVID-19, sometimes contributing to neurologic and abdominal manifestations. Finally, artificial intelligence has shown promise for use in determining both the diagnosis and prognosis of COVID-19 pneumonia with respect to both radiography and CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E262-E279
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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