The diagnostic performance of chest computed tomography scanning in the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 compared to polymerase chain reaction: A retrospective study of 1240 cases from Tripoli University Hospital, Libya
Nader Shalaka1, Najah Gurad2, Salam Alawasi2, Nuha Mansour2, Ala Ali2, Khaled Elobidy2, Mohamed Algumati2, Hossam Swisi3, Elham Elhshik2, Ziyad Mukhtar4, Alfitouri Abojamra5
1 Department of Infectious, Tripoli University Hospital; Department of Medicine, The University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya
2 Department of Infectious, Tripoli University Hospital, Tripoli, Libya
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Tripoli University Hospital, Tripoli, Libya
4 Department of Laboratory Medicine (Virology Laboratory), Tripoli University Hospital, Tripoli, Libya
5 Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Tripoli University Hospital, Tripoli, Libya
Dr. Nader Shalaka
Department of Infectious Diseases, Tripoli University Hospital, University Road, AinZara, Tripoli; Department of Medicine, The University of Tripoli, Tripoli
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
OBJECTIVE: The increasing prevalence of suspected cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presenting to emergency departments (EDs) requires a rapid and reliable triaging tool. The diagnostic performance of chest computed tomography (CT) has yet to be validated for triaging cases in the ED. We aimed to assess the diagnostic performance of chest CT compared to GeneXpert Xpress Xpert severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 test in rapidly diagnosing COVID-19 among patients with respiratory symptoms presenting to the ED.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective, single-center study at Tripoli University Hospital including cases with respiratory symptoms who underwent chest CT as well as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for suspected COVID-19 between May 18 and August 18, 2020.
RESULTS: A total of 1240 cases were included, among whom 570 had radiologically evident COVID-19 on chest CT (46%). Five hundred and sixty-five cases had positive PCR results (45.6%), of whom 557 had radiologically evident COVID-19 on chest CT (97.7%). The calculated accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 98%, 98.5%, 98%, 97.7%, and 98.8%, respectively, in relation to the PCR results.
CONCLUSION: During the current pandemic, chest CT is a quick and reliable diagnostic tool for COVID-19 in the ED.