Radiological Follow-Up of Adults Hospitalised With Pneumonia and SARSCov-2 Infection, In Bristol UK, During The CO

Author(s): Gabriella Ruffino, Rachel L Williams, Shaney Barratt, Catherine Hyams

Introduction: Radiological change which may be attributed to infection can also be attributable to lung cancer. Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection can develop groundglass lung opacification which may result in chronic lung changes. Current British Thoracic Society (BTS) guidelines recommend patients with pneumonia and COVID19 undergo repeat chest radiography. Methods: A single-centre audit of patients hospitalised with communityacquired pneumonia or COVID19 over three time periods during the COVID19 pandemic (Aug-Dec 2020, Jun-Aug 2021, Dec-Jan 2022). We assessed whether patients were eligible for radiological follow-up and if repeat radiological investigation occurred. Results: 1040 adults were hospitalised with infective radiological change (pneumonia=596, COVID19=444). 831/1040 patients (80%) required radiological follow-up under BTS guideline criteria: there was minimal difference between the first two time periods studied. Patients hospitalised with CAP were less likely to have radiological follow-up planned than those admitted with COVID19 disease (49% versus 59% respectively). Following a change in hospital policy, follow-up rates increased to 69% and 71% for pneumonia and COVID19. Overall, only 47% eligible patients received follow-up in line with current guidelines. Conclusion: BTS guideline adherence is important to avoid delay in diagnosing underlying malignancy or chronic lung disease. Radiological follow-up following CAP and COVID19 may be suboptimal, with a paucity of data. Follow-up arranged under the hospital team was more likely to occur than when the GP was responsible for instigating repeat radiological imaging. Further investigation into rates of radiological follow-up should be undertaken, including reasons for non-adherence, to ensure patients receive appropriate treatment following respiratory infection

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