Increasing Demand for Chest CT Due to COVID-19 in Brazil

Creuza Rachel Vicente Mariana Coelho Silva Sant'Ana Aline Pinto Reis Carla Fanchiotti Costa Crispim Cerutti Junior Caio Martins Lanes Geyzzara Oliveira Ferreira Diniz Iuri Drumond Louro About the authors

Dear Editor:

Diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been challenging since the identification of this new human infection, especially after it spread to most countries and territories of the world in the following months, increasing the worldwide demand for reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, the laboratory test which confirms the infection. Therefore, in settings where this test is unavailable, or results are delayed or negative in the presence of symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, chest imaging has been used in the diagnosis, clinical evaluation, and management of suspected cases11. World Health Organization (WHO). Use of chest imaging in COVID-19: a rapid advice guide. Geneva: WHO; 2020. 42 p.. Chest computed tomography (CT) contributes to a lower diagnostic loss22. Li Y, Xia L. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): role of chest CT in diagnosis and management. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020;214:1280-6., presenting a sensitivity of 92% (95% confidence interval, 86-96%)33. Xu B, Xing Y, Peng J, Zheng Z, Tang W, Sun Y, et al. Chest CT for detecting COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy. Eur Radiol. 2020;15:1-8., and is recommended even in cases with a positive RT-PCR test if the patient presents mild, moderate, or severe symptoms of the disease11. World Health Organization (WHO). Use of chest imaging in COVID-19: a rapid advice guide. Geneva: WHO; 2020. 42 p.. Consensus shows some typical characteristics of images in COVID-19 cases, such as bilateral (multilobar) and peripheral opacities with an aspect of ground glass, with or without consolidations or interlobular and intralobular septal thickening (mosaic paving), multifocal and round ground-glass opacities with or without mosaic paving, and reverse halo sign44. Simpson S, Kay FU, Abbara S, Bhalla S, Chung JH, Chung M, et al. Radiological Society of North America expert consensus statement on reporting chest CT findings related to COVID-19 endorsed by the Society of Thoracic Radiology, the American College of Radiology, and RSNA. Radiol Cardiothorac Imaging. 2020;https://doi.org/10.1148/ryct.2020200152.
https://doi.org/10.1148/ryct.2020200152...
,55. Kong W, Agarwal PP. Chest imaging appearance of COVID-19 infection. Radiol Cardiothorac Imaging. 2020;https://doi.org/10.1148/ryct.2020200028.
https://doi.org/10.1148/ryct.2020200028...
.

Since the beginning of the epidemic in Brazil on February 26, 2020, the demand for chest CT has increased, possibly due to the long wait times for the release of RT-PCR test results in some regions66. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde (MS). Boletim epidemiológico especial COE-COVID-19 - 16. Brasília: MS; 2020. 67 p. thereby affecting the application of the results in the clinical management of the patients. In 94 hospitals and diagnostic centers from 14 Brazilian states, serviced by Telelaudo, an increase of 192% in the demand for chest CT was observed from March 1 to June 30, 2020 (n = 14,111) when compared to the same period in 2019 (n = 4,837); increases of more than 1,000% were seen in the states of Pará in May and June, and Ceará in June. States from the North (Amazonas and Pará) and the Northeast (Ceará, Pernambuco, and Sergipe) regions had the highest increases in chest CT. These regions placed health systems in a critical situation77. Ferraz D, Mariano EB, Morceiro P, Moralles HF, Manzine PR, Rebelatto DAN. COVID-Index: the collapse of the Brazilian hospital system [Internet]. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341164388_COVID-Index_the_collapse_of_the_Brazilian_Hospital_System.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication...
, with collapse occurring in some states, such as Amazonas88. Orellana JDY, Cunha GM, Marrero L, Horta BL, Leite IC. Explosion in mortality in the Amazonian epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic 19. Cad Saúde Pública. 2020;36:e00120020. and Ceará99. Lemos DRQ, D’Angelo SM, Farias LABG, Almeida MM, Gomes RG, Pinto GP, et al. Health system collapse 45 days after the detection of COVID-19 in Ceará, Northeast Brazil: a preliminary analysis. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2020;53:e20200354. (Table 1). Especially in territories with a difficult epidemic situation, chest CT can be an effective, convenient, and fast method to recognize COVID-19 cases, thus supporting the containment of the epidemic33. Xu B, Xing Y, Peng J, Zheng Z, Tang W, Sun Y, et al. Chest CT for detecting COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy. Eur Radiol. 2020;15:1-8.. Nevertheless, further preventive measures must be adopted in addition to the diagnosis and isolation of cases. This survey shows the impact of COVID-19 on the health services in Brazil, particularly high demand for diagnostic imaging tests to support the clinical response to the disease, in a severe epidemiological scenario which had the second-highest number of incident cases and deaths in the world in August 20201010. Worldometer. COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic [Internet]. Dover: Worldometer; 2020 [updated 2020 Aug 28; cited 2020 Aug 28]. Available from: Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ .
https://www.worldometers.info/coronaviru...
.

TABLE 1:
Number of requests for chest computed tomography by hospitals of Brazilian states from January to June, 2019 and 2020

REFERENCES

  • 1
    World Health Organization (WHO). Use of chest imaging in COVID-19: a rapid advice guide. Geneva: WHO; 2020. 42 p.
  • 2
    Li Y, Xia L. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): role of chest CT in diagnosis and management. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020;214:1280-6.
  • 3
    Xu B, Xing Y, Peng J, Zheng Z, Tang W, Sun Y, et al. Chest CT for detecting COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy. Eur Radiol. 2020;15:1-8.
  • 4
    Simpson S, Kay FU, Abbara S, Bhalla S, Chung JH, Chung M, et al. Radiological Society of North America expert consensus statement on reporting chest CT findings related to COVID-19 endorsed by the Society of Thoracic Radiology, the American College of Radiology, and RSNA. Radiol Cardiothorac Imaging. 2020;https://doi.org/10.1148/ryct.2020200152.
    » https://doi.org/10.1148/ryct.2020200152
  • 5
    Kong W, Agarwal PP. Chest imaging appearance of COVID-19 infection. Radiol Cardiothorac Imaging. 2020;https://doi.org/10.1148/ryct.2020200028.
    » https://doi.org/10.1148/ryct.2020200028
  • 6
    Brasil. Ministério da Saúde (MS). Boletim epidemiológico especial COE-COVID-19 - 16. Brasília: MS; 2020. 67 p.
  • 7
    Ferraz D, Mariano EB, Morceiro P, Moralles HF, Manzine PR, Rebelatto DAN. COVID-Index: the collapse of the Brazilian hospital system [Internet]. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341164388_COVID-Index_the_collapse_of_the_Brazilian_Hospital_System
    » https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341164388_COVID-Index_the_collapse_of_the_Brazilian_Hospital_System
  • 8
    Orellana JDY, Cunha GM, Marrero L, Horta BL, Leite IC. Explosion in mortality in the Amazonian epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic 19. Cad Saúde Pública. 2020;36:e00120020.
  • 9
    Lemos DRQ, D’Angelo SM, Farias LABG, Almeida MM, Gomes RG, Pinto GP, et al. Health system collapse 45 days after the detection of COVID-19 in Ceará, Northeast Brazil: a preliminary analysis. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2020;53:e20200354.
  • 10
    Worldometer. COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic [Internet]. Dover: Worldometer; 2020 [updated 2020 Aug 28; cited 2020 Aug 28]. Available from: Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
    » https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    21 Oct 2020
  • Date of issue
    2020

History

  • Received
    28 Aug 2020
  • Accepted
    17 Sept 2020
Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical - SBMT Caixa Postal 118, 38001-970 Uberaba MG Brazil, Tel.: +55 34 3318-5255 / +55 34 3318-5636/ +55 34 3318-5287, http://rsbmt.org.br/ - Uberaba - MG - Brazil
E-mail: rsbmt@uftm.edu.br