Recently published evidence suggests that the addition of chest CT in those patients presenting acutely and requiring abdominal CT has a very low diagnostic yield for features of unheralded COVID-19 pneumonia. There is also evidence that the impact of the results of this chest imaging on the acute surgical management of the patient is clinically insignificant.
We would therefore recommend that the routine use of additional CT chest in this clinical setting, together with the additional radiation dose this delivers to the patient, is not justified.
- A national UK audit for diagnostic accuracy of preoperative CT chest in emergency and elective surgery during COVID-19 pandemic
- Clinical Radiology COVID-19 articles
See additional RCR statements on the role of CT chest:
- 14 May 2020: The role of CT in screening elective pre-operative patients
- 27 March 2020: The role of CT chest in patients presenting acutely and requiring an abdominal CT
- 12 March 2020: The role of CT in patients suspected with COVID-19 infection