Abdominal imaging findings in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection: a scoping review

Kevin Lui, Mitchell P. Wilson, Gavin Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: This scoping review evaluated the currently available data related to abdominal imaging in the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Method: A systematic review of MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and Web of Science was performed from inception to July 15, 2020 using PRISMA-ScR guidelines. The review included case reports and series discussing radiologic manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection in abdominal imaging studies. Studies published from inception to March 31, 2020, were independently screened and reviewed by one author, and another author reviewed studies published after March 31 to July 15, 2020. Study screening and full-text review for publications before March 31, 2020, was performed by one author, and another author for publications after March 31 to July 15, 2020. Results: Thirty-six studies were included in qualitative synthesis. The prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms is roughly 18% and includes loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Sixteen percent of COVID-19 cases may only present with gastrointestinal symptoms. Many patients presenting this way demonstrate evidence of COVID-19 incidentally through abdominal CT imaging at the lung bases. Studies published to date have also reported abdominal imaging findings including small and large bowel wall thickening, fluid-filled colon, pneumatosis intestinalis, pneumoperitoneum, intussusception, and ascites. Conclusion: Gastrointestinal manifestations and imaging manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection are increasingly reported and warrant specific attention during abdominal imaging.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021

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