Diagnostic value of Chest CT and Initial Real-Time RT-PCR in COVID-19 Infection

  • Ugur Kostakoglu http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4589-0962
  • Aydın Kant
  • Serhat Atalar
  • Barış Ertunç
  • Şükrü Erensoy
  • Enes Dalmanoğlu
  • İsmail Yılmaz
  • Belgin Kilic Sevimli
  • Ayşe Ertürk
  • Gürdal Yılmaz
Keywords: rtRT-PCR, Chest CT, COVID-19


Objectives: To evaluate the diagnostic value of the rtRT-PCR test and CT in patients presenting with typical clinical symptoms of COVID-19.

Methods: The study with the participation of four center in Turkey was performed retrospectively from 20 March-15 April 2020 in 203 patients confirmed for COVID-19. The initial rtRT-PCR test was positive in 142 (70.0%) of the patients (Group-I) and negative in 61 patients (Group-II).

Results: The mean age of the patients in Group-I was 49.7±18.0 years and the time between the onset of symptoms and admission to the hospital was 3.6±2.0 days; whereas the same values for the patients in Group-II were 58.1±19.9 and 5.3±4.2, respectively (p=0.004; p=0.026). Initial rtRT-PCR was found positive with 83.5% sensitivity and 74.1% PPV in patients with symptom duration of less than five days. It was found that rtRT-PCR positivity correlated negatively with the presence of CT findings, age, comorbidity, shortness of breath, and symptom duration, while rtRT-PCR positivity correlated positively with headache. Presence of CT findings was positively correlated with age, comorbidity, shortness of breath, fever, and the symptom duration.

Conclusions: It should be noted that a negative result in the rtRT-PCR test does not rule out the possibility of COVID-19 diagnosis in patients whose symptom duration is longer than five days, who are elderly with comorbidities and in particular who present with fever and shortness of breath. In these patients, typical CT findings are diagnostic for COVID-19. A normal chest CT is no reason to loosen up measures of isolation in patients with newly beginning symptoms until the results are obtained from the PCR test.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.37.1.2956

How to cite this:
Kostakoglu U, Kant A, Atalar S, Ertunc B, Erensoy S, Dalmanoglu E, et al. Diagnostic value of Chest CT and Initial Real-Time RT-PCR in COVID-19 Infection. Pak J Med Sci. 2021;37(1):-234-238. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.37.1.2956

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to Cite
Kostakoglu, U., Kant, A., Atalar, S., Ertunç, B., Erensoy, Şükrü, Dalmanoğlu, E., Yılmaz, İsmail, Sevimli, B. K., Ertürk, A., & Yılmaz, G. (2020). Diagnostic value of Chest CT and Initial Real-Time RT-PCR in COVID-19 Infection. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 37(1). https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.37.1.2956