Imaging manufacturers ask agency to include recommendations from the Fleischner Society and AIUM to provider more nuanced guidance.
Radiologists need more nuanced guidance for treating patients who are COVID-19-positive, said imaging manufacturers in the industry.
Last week, the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA) petitioned the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), asking the agency to incorporate recommendations made by the Fleischner Society into the guidance it also provides to radiologists.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, debate has been consistent about the role chest CT scans plan in diagnosing and assessing the infection. The American College of Radiology and other imaging leadership organizations have discouraged the use of CT scans and X-rays in diagnosing the disease, but other groups, including providers in China, continue to use these images for viral assessment.
In addition to its request to the CDC, MITA also encouraged the agency to form an ongoing partnership with industry manufacturers, as well as public health organizations, to improve the spread of the most up-to-date research on COVID-19-related imaging.
“Given the unprecedented scope of the present crisis, we believe that dedicated cooperation among clinical researchers, industry experts, and public health institutions will be more important than ever,” said Patrick Hope, MITA executive director, in a statement. “It is imperative that emerging evidence be rapidly and critically assessed then shared on a regular basis to provide healthcare providers with the most current scientific literature.”
The consensus statement published by the Fleischner Society offered five recommendations to radiology professionals on when to pursue chest imaging in patients suspected of COVID-19 infection. In addition to this guidance, MITA also encouraged the CDC to direct imaging providers to recommendations from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM).
“It is our expectation that the CDC will review this aggregation of information and issue a clear communication about the role for, and value, of imaging technologies in our response to the COVID-19 crisis,” Hope said. “We look forward to working with the agency to achieve our shared mission of improving public health and reducing the devastating impact of this pandemic.”