Publication Date


Journal Title

Abdom Radiol


© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Purpose: Manifestations of COVID-19 are primarily respiratory based, however, gastrointestinal symptoms are now recognized as an important component of the disease. The purpose of this study is to evaluate differences in abdominal pelvic CT findings in the emergency department by COVID-19 test result. Methods: This retrospective study identified patients tested by PCR for COVID-19 infection who underwent abdominal pelvic CT scan in the ED across an academic health system from March 15 to April 15, 2020. Radiology reports were reviewed for the presence of ground glass opacity in the lungs and acute abdominal pathology. A subset of patients with acute abdominal pathology were identified with inflammatory pathology in organs with high ACE2 receptor expression including bowel, pancreas, urinary bladder, and kidney. CT findings for COVID positive versus negative patients were compared with Chi-square test. Results: 597 patients tested by PCR for COVID-19 infection underwent abdominal pelvic CT scan, 44% were COVID-19 positive. COVID-19 positive patients demonstrated significantly more ground glass opacity at the lung bases, 65.1%, (222/341) versus 12.4% (33/266), p < 0.001), and significantly less acute abdominal findings, 23.8% (81/341) versus 45.5% (121/266), p ≤ 0.001). When abdominal pathology was present, COVID-19 positive patients had higher rate of inflammatory pathology 58% (47/81) versus 29.8% (36/121). Conclusions: In patients undergoing abdominopelvic CT from the ED, COVID-19 positive patients are more likely to have ground glass opacities at the lung bases and less likely to have acute abdominal pathology compared with COVID-19 negative patients. Further, COVID-19 positive patients are more likely to have inflammation of organs with high expression of ACE2 receptors than other types of acute abdominal pathology.

Document Type



Faculty; Northwell Researcher


School of Medicine; Northwell Health

Primary Department


Additional Departments

General Internal Medicine; Molecular Medicine; COVID-19 Publications





Included in

Radiology Commons