Stroke scans can identify Covid-19 infection: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 20, 2020 Published on September 20, 2020

According to a new study carried out by the researchers from King's College London (KCL), the coronavirus may be diagnosed on the same emergency scans that are dedicated to diagnosing stroke. The paper was published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology and KCL’s official website.

Researchers maintained that their findings have important implications in the management of patients presenting with suspected stroke through early identification of coronavirus.

Study lead and Senior Lecturer in neuroimaging at King's College London, Dr Tom Booth said in a statement that the emergency scans captured images of the top of the lungs where a fluffiness called ‘ground-glass opacification’ allowed Covid-19 to be diagnosed.

For the study, 225 patients were examined from three London Hyper-Acute Stroke Units. The emergency stroke scan consisted of computed tomography (CT) of the head and neck blood vessels.

Dr Booth said the results show that these changes in the top of the lungs during the emergency scan, can be tracked to reliably and accurately diagnose Covid-19 and the changes can also predict the risk of mortality in coronavirus cases. He said in the study, “This is particularly relevant given the limitations of currently available Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing as it takes time to complete the test and sometimes it is inaccurate."

Primarily, the findings allow earlier selection of the appropriate level of personal protective equipment (PPE) and attendant staff numbers, triage to appropriate inpatient ward settings, self-isolation and contact tracing, researchers mentioned in their study.

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Published on September 20, 2020
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