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Rofo ; 194(6): 625-633, 2022 06.
Article in English, German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599667


PURPOSE: To analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 on the radiological imaging volume in Germany. MATERIALS UND METHODS: In this retrospective multicenter study, we analyzed CT and MRI examinations of 7 radiology institutes across Germany from January to December 2020. The imaging volume was compared to 2019 (Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test). Modality, patient service locations, and examined body parts were assessed in consideration of time periods of the pandemic. In addition, correlation with the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 cases and associated death was performed (Spearman-test). RESULTS: In total, in 2020, imaging volume declined by 4 % (n = 8314) compared with 2019 (p < 0.05). The hard lockdown during the first pandemic wave (calendar week 12-16, March 22 - April 19) revealed the highest decrease with 29 % (n = 894, p < 0.01), with the greatest decrease in CT (36 % vs. MRI 26 %), outpatients (38 %, p < 0.01), and imaging of the spine and extremities (51-72 %, < 0.05 - p < 0.01). Examinations referred from the emergency department (-13 %, p < 0.05) and CT of the chest (-16 %, p < 0.05) were least affected. With the end of the first wave, gradual normalization of the imaging volume was observed and persisted until the end of the observation period. A reduction of imaging volume negatively correlated with the incidence of SARS-CoV-2-positive cases and associated deaths (r = 0.28 and 0.49, p < 0.05 and p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a significant temporary decline in imaging volume. After the first lockdown period, a quick recovery was observed with radiologic imaging examinations steadily approaching prior-year figures. KEY POINTS: · This study assesses the impact of dynamic pandemic activity on radiological imaging in a multicenter analysis in Germany.. · The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a temporary decline in CT and MRI scans.. · Relaxation of restrictions was associated with fast normalization of imaging volumes to prior-year levels, which persisted until the end of the year.. · Significant catch-up effects were not observed.. CITATION FORMAT: · Schmidbauer M, Grenacher L, Juchems MS et al. Impact of the COVID 19 Pandemic on Radiological Imaging in Germany. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2022; 194: 625 - 633.

COVID-19 , Radiology , Communicable Disease Control , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2