Routine screening CT for the identification of COVID-19 pneumonia is currently not recommended by most radiology societies. However, the number of CTs performed in persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 has increased. We also anticipate that some patients will have incidentally detected findings that could be attributable to COVID-19 pneumonia, requiring radiologists to decide whether or not to mention COVID-19 specifically as a differential diagnostic possibility. We aim to provide guidance to radiologists in reporting CT findings potentially attributable to COVID-19 pneumonia, including standardized language to reduce reporting variability when addressing the possibility of COVID-19. When typical or indeterminate features of COVID-19 pneumonia are present in endemic areas as an incidental finding, we recommend contacting the referring providers to discuss the likelihood of viral infection. These incidental findings do not necessarily need to be reported as COVID-19 pneumonia. In this setting, using the term "viral pneumonia" can be a reasonable and inclusive alternative. However, if one opts to use the term "COVID-19" in the incidental setting, consider the provided standardized reporting language. In addition, practice patterns may vary, and this document is meant to serve as a guide. Consultation with clinical colleagues at each institution is suggested to establish a consensus reporting approach. The goal of this expert consensus is to help radiologists recognize findings of COVID-19 pneumonia and aid their communication with other healthcare providers, assisting management of patients during this pandemic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine