Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction versus chest computed tomography for detecting early symptoms of COVID-19. A diagnostic accuracy systematic review and meta-analysis

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: A positive real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS CoV-2, from nasopharyngeal swabs, is the current gold standard diagnostic test for this virus and has sensitivity of 60-70%. Some studies have demonstrated a significant number of false-negative RT-PCR tests while displaying significant tomographic findings, in the early days of symptoms of COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: To compare accuracy between RT-PCR and computed tomography (CT) for detecting COVID-19 in the first week of its symptoms during the pandemic. DESIGN AND SETTING: Systematic ...

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