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Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(10)2021 Oct 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480625


(1) Background: Chest radiography (CXR) is still a key diagnostic component in the emergency department (ED). Correct interpretation is essential since some pathologies require urgent treatment. This study quantifies potential discrepancies in CXR analysis between radiologists and non-radiology physicians in training with ED experience. (2) Methods: Nine differently qualified physicians (three board-certified radiologists [BCR], three radiology residents [RR], and three non-radiology residents involved in ED [NRR]) evaluated a series of 563 posterior-anterior CXR images by quantifying suspicion for four relevant pathologies: pleural effusion, pneumothorax, pneumonia, and pulmonary nodules. Reading results were noted separately for each hemithorax on a Likert scale (0-4; 0: no suspicion of pathology, 4: safe existence of pathology) adding up to a total of 40,536 reported pathology suspicions. Interrater reliability/correlation and Kruskal-Wallis tests were performed for statistical analysis. (3) Results: While interrater reliability was good among radiologists, major discrepancies between radiologists' and non-radiologists' reading results could be observed in all pathologies. Highest overall interrater agreement was found for pneumothorax detection and lowest agreement in raising suspicion for malignancy suspicious nodules. Pleural effusion and pneumonia were often suspected with indifferent choices (1-3). In terms of pneumothorax detection, all readers mainly decided for a clear option (0 or 4). Interrater reliability was usually higher when evaluating the right hemithorax (all pathologies except pneumothorax). (4) Conclusions: Quantified CXR interrater reliability analysis displays a general uncertainty and strongly depends on medical training. NRR can benefit from radiology reporting in terms of time efficiency and diagnostic accuracy. CXR evaluation of long-time trained ED specialists has not been tested.

BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 167, 2021 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1079217


BACKGROUND: Characteristics of COVID-19 patients have mainly been reported within confirmed COVID-19 cohorts. By analyzing patients with respiratory infections in the emergency department during the first pandemic wave, we aim to assess differences in the characteristics of COVID-19 vs. Non-COVID-19 patients. This is particularly important regarding the second COVID-19 wave and the approaching influenza season. METHODS: We prospectively included 219 patients with suspected COVID-19 who received radiological imaging and RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2. Demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters as well as RT-PCR results were used for subgroup analysis. Imaging data were reassessed using the following scoring system: 0 - not typical, 1 - possible, 2 - highly suspicious for COVID-19. RESULTS: COVID-19 was diagnosed in 72 (32,9%) patients. In three of them (4,2%) the initial RT-PCR was negative while initial CT scan revealed pneumonic findings. 111 (50,7%) patients, 61 of them (55,0%) COVID-19 positive, had evidence of pneumonia. Patients with COVID-19 pneumonia showed higher body temperature (37,7 ± 0,1 vs. 37,1 ± 0,1 °C; p = 0.0001) and LDH values (386,3 ± 27,1 vs. 310,4 ± 17,5 U/l; p = 0.012) as well as lower leukocytes (7,6 ± 0,5 vs. 10,1 ± 0,6G/l; p = 0.0003) than patients with other pneumonia. Among abnormal CT findings in COVID-19 patients, 57 (93,4%) were evaluated as highly suspicious or possible for COVID-19. In patients with negative RT-PCR and pneumonia, another third was evaluated as highly suspicious or possible for COVID-19 (14 out of 50; 28,0%). The sensitivity in the detection of patients requiring isolation was higher with initial chest CT than with initial RT-PCR (90,4% vs. 79,5%). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients show typical clinical, laboratory and imaging parameters which enable a sensitive detection of patients who demand isolation measures due to COVID-19.

COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/physiopathology , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Young Adult