CO-RADS - A categorical CT assessment scheme for patients with suspected COVID-19: definition and evaluation

M. Prokop, W. van Everdingen, T. van Rees Vellinga, J. van Quarles Ufford, L. Stoger, L. Beenen, B. Geurts, H. Gietema, J. Krdzalic, C. Schaefer-Prokop, B. van Ginneken, M. Brink and the COVID-19 Standardized Reporting Working Group of the Dutch Radiological Society

Radiology 2020;296(2):E97-E104.

DOI PMID Cited by ~597

Purpose To introduce the COVID-19 Reporting and Data System (CO-RADS) for standardized assessment of pulmonary involvement of COVID-19 on non-enhanced chest CT and report its initial interobserver agreement and performance. Methods The Dutch Radiological Society (NVvR) developed CO-RADS based on other efforts for standardization, such as Lung-RADS or BI-RADS. CO-RADS assesses the suspicion for pulmonary involvement of COVID-19 on a scale from 1 (very low) to 5 (very high). The system is meant to be used in patients presenting with moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19. The system was evaluated using 105 chest CTs of patients admitted to the hospital with clinical suspicion of COVID-19 in whom RT-PCR was performed (62 +/- 16 years, 61 men, 53 with positive RT-PCR). Eight observers assessed the scans using CO-RADS. Fleiss' kappa was calculated, and scores of individual observers were compared to the median of the remaining seven observers. The resulting area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC) was compared to results from RT-PCR and clinical diagnosis of COVID-19. Results There was absolute agreement among observers in 573 (68.2%) of 840 observations. Fleiss' kappa was 0.47 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.45-0.47), with the highest kappa for CO-RADS categories 1 (0.58, 95% CI 0.54-0.62) and 5 (0.68, 95% CI 0.65-0.72). The average AUC was 0.91 (95% CI 0.85-0.97) for predicting RT-PCR outcome and 0.95 (95% CI 0.91-0.99) for clinical diagnosis. The false negative rate for CO-RADS 1 was 9/161 (5.6%, 95% CI 1.0-10%), and the false positive rate for CO-RADS 5 was 1/286 (0.3%, 95% CI 0-1.0%). Conclusions CO-RADS is a categorical assessment scheme for pulmonary involvement of COVID-19 on non-enhanced chest CT providing very good performance for predicting COVID-19 in patients with moderate to severe symptoms and has a substantial interobserver agreement, especially for categories 1 and 5.