Chest CT in COVID-19 at the ED: Validation of the COVID-19 Reporting and Data System (CO-RADS) and CT Severity Score: A Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study

Arthur W. E. Lieveld, Kaoutar Azijli, Bernd P. Teunissen, Rutger M. van Haaften, Ruud S. Kootte, Inge A. H. van den Berk, Sabine F. B. van der Horst, Carlijn de Gans, Peter M. van de Ven, Prabath W. B. Nanayakkara*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: CT is thought to play a key role in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnostic workup. The possibility of comparing data across different settings depends on the systematic and reproducible manner in which the scans are analyzed and reported. The COVID-19 Reporting and Data System (CO-RADS) and the corresponding CT severity score (CTSS) introduced by the Radiological Society of the Netherlands (NVvR) attempt to do so. However, this system has not been externally validated. Research Question: We aimed to prospectively validate the CO-RADS as a COVID-19 diagnostic tool at the ED and to evaluate whether the CTSS is associated with prognosis. Study Design and Methods: We conducted a prospective, observational study in two tertiary centers in The Netherlands, between March 19 and May 28, 2020. We consecutively included 741 adult patients at the ED with suspected COVID-19, who received a chest CT and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) PCR (PCR). Diagnostic accuracy measures were calculated for CO-RADS, using PCR as reference. Logistic regression was performed for CTSS in relation to hospital admission, ICU admission, and 30-day mortality. Results: Seven hundred forty-one patients were included. We found an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.91 (CI, 0.89-0.94) for CO-RADS using PCR as reference. The optimal CO-RADS cutoff was 4, with a sensitivity of 89.4% (CI, 84.7-93.0) and specificity of 87.2% (CI, 83.9-89.9). We found a significant association between CTSS and hospital admission, ICU admission, and 30-day mortality; adjusted ORs per point increase in CTSS were 1.19 (CI, 1.09-1.28), 1.23 (1.15-1.32), 1.14 (1.07-1.22), respectively. Intraclass correlation coefficients for CO-RADS and CTSS were 0.94 (0.91-0.96) and 0.82 (0.70-0.90). Interpretation: Our findings support the use of CO-RADS and CTSS in triage, diagnosis, and management decisions for patients presenting with possible COVID-19 at the ED.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1126-1135
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Early online date30 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

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