CT Scan Technology Could H Detect Unknowing Carriers of COVID-19

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CT Scan Technology Could H Detect Unknowing Carriers of COVID-19

Headshot of Dr. Andrew Crean.
Dr. Andrew Crean, Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Radiology, UOHI Cardiology

Dr. Andrew Crean co-director of the cardiac MRI service at the UOHI is leading a study with his colleagues to evaluate the use of CT (computed tomography) scan technology as a first step in detecting positive cases of COVID-19.

“When a patient with symptoms of COVID-19 is admitted to hospital, it is likely they will receive a CT scan and a nasopharyngeal swab,” says Dr. Crean.  But, the real question is; what do you do with patients who show up without symptoms of virus or whose symptoms are very minor?

“We’re increasingly finding a larger than expected proportion of people who test positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic,” says Crean. “We need to know who these people are; the concern being people who feel well may be presenting to the hospital as unknowing carriers and transmitters of disease.”

“The proposal we’re working with now is to offer CT screening to every patient admitted to the Heart Institute, regardless of their medical history or conditions of coronavirus,” says Crean.

As the prevalence of the disease increases in the community, Crean expects the study will highlight more positive carriers.

“The good thing is we started early. The Heart Institute will be well positioned to detect potential infectors of disease and triage them to receive the best care before they can spread the disease to anyone else.”

Dr. Crean adds, “Having these innovative options in place will help us protect our patients and our staff. We thank all the donors who continue to invest in our research teams here at the Heart Institute.”

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