Introduction and Learning Outcomes


Radiological examinations such as chest radiographs can be carried out outside the Radiology department. When justified this examination can be performed at the ward or in special areas in a hospital where the patient can be isolated.

In the COVID-19 pandemics, chest radiography play a role in detecting changes in the lungs, namely the following features (1)

  • Multifocal and peripheral
  • Ground glass opacification
  • Consolidation
  • Intralobular lines (also know as crazy paving pattern)
  • Reverse halo sign 
  • Other findings of organizing pneumonia

However, this examination is insensitive in patients that present mild or early infection (2). As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to overwhelm healthcare systems worldwide, Chest radiography may be considered as a tool for identifying COVID-19, but is less sensitive than Computed Tomography (CT) scans. In a cohort of patients with COVID-19 infection and imaging follow-up, baseline chest x-ray had a sensitivity of 69%, compared to 91% for initial RT-PCR (2)

As the pandemic progresses, the medical community will frequently rely on portable Chest radiography due to its widespread availability and reduced infection control issues that currently limit CT utilization (3)

This section of the website aims to:

  • Explain how to use a mobile X-ray machine effectively to perform mobile chest X-ray examination for a COVID-19 patient
  • Understand the parameters which can optimise the radiation dose for a mobile chest X-ray examination on a COVID-19 patient