Can MRI detect COVID infection in lungs?

In summary, during the second wave of the pandemic in the country, there have been cases where RT-PCR tests are giving false negatives. Doctors have been advising CT scans for patients who show symptoms of COVID, and in many cases, this has resulted in the detection of white patches in the lungs, indicating the presence of the virus. However, the Director of AIIMS has stated that CT scans are being misused and can have long-term side effects, including an increased risk of cancer. On the other hand, MRI, which uses a different technology, may have fewer long-term side effects. It is suggested that MRI could potentially be used to detect COVID infection in the lungs, but it is more expensive than a CT scan.
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Wrichik Basu
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During this second wave of pandemic in our country, there have been several cases where the RT-PCR test is yielding false negatives. Many patients are being advised CT scans by doctors if the RT-PCR is negative, but the patient still shows symptoms of COVID. In many cases, this has given good results - doctors have found that the patient's lungs are completely covered by white patches, which are indicative of the virus residing and multiplying there.

Yesterday, the Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said, as per a news article, that CT is being "misused" during this period, adding that one CT is equivalent to 300-400 chest X-rays, and in younger people, too many CT scans throughout their lives may lead to cancer in later life.

Fine, I understand that. On the other hand, MRI, which uses an entirely different technology based on NMR, probably has lesser long-term side effects.

Can MRI be used to detect COVID infection in the lungs instead of CT or simple chest X-ray?
 
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Related to Can MRI detect COVID infection in lungs?

1. Can an MRI detect COVID infection in the lungs?

Yes, an MRI can detect COVID infection in the lungs. However, it is not the primary method of diagnosis for COVID-19. Other tests, such as a PCR test or a chest CT scan, are typically used for diagnosis.

2. How accurate is an MRI in detecting COVID infection in the lungs?

The accuracy of an MRI in detecting COVID infection in the lungs depends on several factors, including the timing of the scan and the severity of the infection. In general, MRI has a lower sensitivity for detecting COVID-19 compared to other imaging methods.

3. Are there any risks associated with getting an MRI to detect COVID infection in the lungs?

There are typically no risks associated with getting an MRI to detect COVID infection in the lungs. MRI uses non-ionizing radiation, making it a safe imaging option. However, if you have a severe case of COVID-19, you may experience difficulty lying flat for the scan.

4. How does an MRI detect COVID infection in the lungs?

An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of the body. In the case of COVID-19, an MRI can detect changes in the lungs, such as inflammation or fluid buildup, that may indicate a COVID infection.

5. Can an MRI detect COVID infection in the lungs in asymptomatic individuals?

Yes, an MRI can detect COVID infection in the lungs in asymptomatic individuals. However, as mentioned earlier, it is not the primary method of diagnosis for COVID-19. Asymptomatic individuals are typically not recommended to undergo an MRI solely for the purpose of detecting COVID infection in the lungs.

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