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Article

COVID-19 Pandemic and Upcoming Influenza Season—Does an Expert’s Computed Tomography Assessment Differentially Identify COVID-19, Influenza and Pneumonias of Other Origin?

1
Department of Radiology, University Hospital, LMU Munich, 81377 Munich, Germany
2
Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC-M), German Center for Lung Research (DZL), 81377 Munich, Germany
3
Chair of Statistical Learning & Data Science, Department of Statistics, LMU Munich, 80539 Munich, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Shared first authorship.
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10010084
Received: 3 November 2020 / Revised: 16 December 2020 / Accepted: 23 December 2020 / Published: 28 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Diagnostic Imaging and Beyond)
(1) Background: Time-consuming SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR suffers from limited sensitivity in early infection stages whereas fast available chest CT can already raise COVID-19 suspicion. Nevertheless, radiologists’ performance to differentiate COVID-19, especially from influenza pneumonia, is not sufficiently characterized. (2) Methods: A total of 201 pneumonia CTs were identified and divided into subgroups based on RT-PCR: 78 COVID-19 CTs, 65 influenza CTs and 62 Non-COVID-19-Non-influenza (NCNI) CTs. Three radiology experts (blinded from RT-PCR results) raised pathogen-specific suspicion (separately for COVID-19, influenza, bacterial pneumonia and fungal pneumonia) according to the following reading scores: 0—not typical/1—possible/2—highly suspected. Diagnostic performances were calculated with RT-PCR as a reference standard. Dependencies of radiologists’ pathogen suspicion scores were characterized by Pearson’s Chi2 Test for Independence. (3) Results: Depending on whether the intermediate reading score 1 was considered as positive or negative, radiologists correctly classified 83–85% (vs. NCNI)/79–82% (vs. influenza) of COVID-19 cases (sensitivity up to 94%). Contrarily, radiologists correctly classified only 52–56% (vs. NCNI)/50–60% (vs. COVID-19) of influenza cases. The COVID-19 scoring was more specific than the influenza scoring compared with suspected bacterial or fungal infection. (4) Conclusions: High-accuracy COVID-19 detection by CT might expedite patient management even during the upcoming influenza season. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; Sars-CoV-2; influenza; pneumonia; computed tomography; radiology COVID-19; Sars-CoV-2; influenza; pneumonia; computed tomography; radiology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rueckel, J.; Fink, N.; Kaestle, S.; Stüber, T.; Schwarze, V.; Gresser, E.; Hoppe, B.F.; Rudolph, J.; Kunz, W.G.; Ricke, J.; Sabel, B.O. COVID-19 Pandemic and Upcoming Influenza Season—Does an Expert’s Computed Tomography Assessment Differentially Identify COVID-19, Influenza and Pneumonias of Other Origin? J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 84. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10010084

AMA Style

Rueckel J, Fink N, Kaestle S, Stüber T, Schwarze V, Gresser E, Hoppe BF, Rudolph J, Kunz WG, Ricke J, Sabel BO. COVID-19 Pandemic and Upcoming Influenza Season—Does an Expert’s Computed Tomography Assessment Differentially Identify COVID-19, Influenza and Pneumonias of Other Origin? Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(1):84. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10010084

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rueckel, Johannes, Nicola Fink, Sophia Kaestle, Theresa Stüber, Vincent Schwarze, Eva Gresser, Boj F. Hoppe, Jan Rudolph, Wolfgang G. Kunz, Jens Ricke, and Bastian O. Sabel 2021. "COVID-19 Pandemic and Upcoming Influenza Season—Does an Expert’s Computed Tomography Assessment Differentially Identify COVID-19, Influenza and Pneumonias of Other Origin?" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 1: 84. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10010084

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