PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize current literature evidence on the role of computed tomography (CT) scan in the diagnosis and assessment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia .
RECENT FINDINGS: Recent guidelines on the use of CT scans in COVID-19 vary between countries . However, the consensus is that it should not be used as the first line; a notion supported by the WHO . Currently, several investigations are being used including reverse transcription PCR testing, chest radiographs, and ultrasound scans, and CT scans . They are ideally performed later during the disease process as the sensitivity and specificity are highest by that time . Typical COVID-19 features on CT scans vary but include vascular enlargement, ground-glass opacities, and ground glass opacification together with consolidation .
SUMMARY: Since COVID-19 was declared as a global pandemic, there was a push towards identifying appropriate diagnostic tests that are both reliable and effective . There is a general agreement that CT scans have a high sensitivity but low specificity in diagnosing COVID-19 . However, the quality of available studies is not optimal, so this must always be interpreted with the clinical context in mind . Clinicians must aim to weigh up the practicalities and drawbacks of CT scans when considering their use for a patient . The ease and speed of use of CT scans must be balanced with their high radiation doses, and infection control considerations.