COVID-19 is often diagnosed through RT-PCR testing. Now some experts are arguing that CT scans can help to diagnose Covid-19. But others disagree with them.
The covid-19 epidemic continues to spread all over the world, killing many people as nations strive to find cure or vaccination. Diagnosing people with SARS-CoV-2 early is key to combating the spread of the disease. Once you are diagnosed, you can limit your physical contact with other people and slow down its spread.
To many people, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the gold standard for Covid-19 diagnosis. RT-PCR is a molecular biology technique that identifies material specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, RT-PCR does not provide 100% accuracy, which has raised concerns about the false-negative and false-positive results.
So, is it possible that CT scans can serve as an adjunct to RT-PCR diagnosis? CT scans combine a series of images that reflect abnormal cells’ metabolic activity in the body.
Some reports claim that CT scans can be used in the diagnosis of COVID-19. CT scans help to effectively control the disease by detecting it early and monitoring and evaluating a patient’s progress. This will help in the rapid identification of the disease, tailored public health measures, and improved patient quarantining.
But other experts argue against using routine CT scans in diagnosing Covid-19 due to issues such as scanner contamination, false-positive rates, and lack of change in the individual management of the patients. Since RT-PCR testing is slow and unreliable, with low swab test sensitivity.
CT imaging, on the other hand, is more sensitive and can detect cases that are missed by swabs. It has a higher sensitivity and offers real-time results, although the issue of increased false positives can’t be ruled out. But this is not the greatest concern; high sensitivity is key to early detection, isolation, and stopping the human transmission of SARS-Cov-2. However, there’s also cause for concern regarding the risk of infection. People sharing the same scanner are at risk of getting infected.
Experts agree that RT-PCR should remain the gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis, while CT scanning can be used only in complicated cases.