Preoperative chest computed tomography screening for coronavirus disease 2019 in asymptomatic patients undergoing cardiac surgery
Knol, Wiebe G.
Thuijs, Daniel J.F.M.
Odink, Arlette E.
Jong, Pim A. de
Krestin, Gabriel P.
Bogers, Ad J.J.C.
Budde, Ricardo P.J.
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Due to the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2), an efficient COVID-19 screening strategy is required for patients undergoing cardiac surgery. The objective of this prospective observational study was to evaluate the role of preoperative computed tomography (CT) screening for COVID-19 in a population of COVID-19 asymptomatic patients scheduled for cardiac surgery. Between the 29th of March and the 26th of May 2020, patients asymptomatic for COVID-19 underwent a CT-scan the day before surgery, with reverse-transcriptase polymerase-chain reaction (RT-PCR) reserved for abnormal scan results. The primary endpoint was the prevalence of abnormal scans, which was evaluated using the CO-RADS score, a COVID-19 specific grading system. In a secondary analysis, the rate of abnormal scans was compared between the screening cohort and matched historical controls who underwent routine preoperative CT-screening prior to the SARS-Cov-2 outbreak. Of the 109 patients that underwent CT-screening, an abnormal scan result was observed in 7.3% (95% confidence interval: 3.2 14.0%). One patient, with a normal screening CT, was tested positive for COVID-19, with the first positive RT-PCR on the ninth day after surgery. A rate of preoperative CT-scan abnormalities of 8% (n = 8) was found in the unexposed historical controls (P > 0.999). In asymptomatic patients undergoing cardiac surgery, preoperative screening for COVID-19 using computed tomography will identify pulmonary abnormalities in a small percentage of patients that do not seem to have COVID-19. Depending on the prevalence of COVID-19, this results in an unfavorable positive predictive value of CT screening. Care should be taken when considering CT as a screening tool prior to cardiac surgery.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1053/j.semtcvs.2020.09.027
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