Introduction: In the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic era, it is essential to rule out COVID-19 effectively to prevent transmission in both communities and medical facilities. According to previous reports in high prevalence areas, CT screening may be useful in the diagnosis of COVID-19. However, the value of CT screening in low prevalence areas has scarcely been reported. Methods: This report examines the diagnostic efficacy of CT screening before admission to a hospital in Tokyo. We conducted a retrospective analysis at Keio University Hospital from April 6, 2020, through May 29, 2020. We set up an outpatient screening clinic on April 6 for COVID-19, administering both PCR with nasopharyngeal swabs and chest CT for all patients scheduled for surgery under general anesthesia. Results: A total of 292 asymptomatic patients were included in this study. There were three PCR-positive patients, and they all had negative CT findings, which revealed that both the sensitivity and positive predictive value of CT (PPV) were 0%. There were nine CT-positive patients; the specificity and the negative predictive value (NPV) were 96.9% and 98.9%, respectively. Conclusion: CT screening was not useful in low prevalence areas at this time in Tokyo, even with the inclusion of the most prevalent phase. Given that the utility of CT screening depends on disease prevalence, the criteria for performing CT screening based on the prevalence of COVID-19 should be established.
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