School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

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One of the biggest challenges during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to be the detection of asymptomatic and presymptomatic persons infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 may transmit the virus to others and may have subclinical lung abnormalities. Some hospitals use SARSCoV-2 antigen tests for pre-admission screening testing because they are relatively inexpensive, have a rapid turnaround time, and can be performed at the point of care; however, antigen tests are generally less sensitive than nucleic acid amplification tests with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. Moreover, as the local COVID-19 prevalence increases, the negative predictive value of antigen tests may decrease, meaning that the probability of having false-negative results may increase. We present a case of a patient who, prior to admission for a surgical procedure, had a negative antigen test result for SARSCoV-2, had no respiratory symptoms, and had no suspected or known exposure to SARS-CoV-2; however, she tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA after admission. The only factor that led the healthcare team to suspect SARS-CoV-2 infection was an unexpected finding of bilateral ground-glass opacities on an abdominopelvic computed tomography (CT), which was performed to assess the extent of a perianal abscess the patient presented. This case highlights the importance of using highly sensitive SARS-CoV-2 tests for pre-admission screening testing in the hospital setting


© Copyright 2020 Soler-Luna et al.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Internal Medicine



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