The Impact of COVID-19 on Nuclear Medicine Operations Including Cardiovascular Manifestations in the USA
JournalSeminars in Nuclear Medicine
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AbstractThe pandemic of coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) not only directly causes high morbidity and mortality of the disease, but also indirectly affects patients with pre-existing medical conditions, particularly cardiovascular diseases, with delayed or deferred outpatient care and procedure including nuclear medicine studies because of concerns about exposure to the virus. In this article, the impact of COVID-19 on hospital operation and nuclear medicine practice in the United States along with recommendations and guidance from major academic organizations are presented. Safe operation of specific nuclear medicine scans, such as lung scintigraphy and nuclear cardiac imaging, are reviewed in the context of balancing benefits to patients against the risk of exacerbating the spread of the virus. Thoughtful reintroduction of nuclear medicine services are discussed based on ethical considerations that maximize benefits to those who are likely to benefit most, taking into consideration baseline health inequities, and ensuring that all decisions reflect best available evidence with transparent communication. Finally, potential correlation between decreased volume of nuclear cardiac studies performed during the pandemic and corresponding increased deaths from ischemic and hypertensive cardiac disease is discussed.
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Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/16196