Table 3

Investigations for COVID-19

Basic blood work
  • Decreased WBC count as well as lymphopenia

  • Increased levels of AST and ALT, LDH and CRP

  • Increased D-dimer

  • Increased PT/INR

Molecular testing via RT-PCR
  • Techniques employed are RT-PCR and rRT-PCR which amplify viral genetic material obtained via nasal swab

  • Poor sensitivity

  • Repeat testing required for verification of viral clearance

Chest X-ray
  • No significant findings early in the disease

  • Bilateral patchy opacities in advanced disease

HRCT chest
  • Multifocal bilateral ‘ground or ground-glass’ areas associated with consolidation areas with patchy distribution

  • ‘Reverse halo’ sign

  • Cavitation, calcification and lymphadenopathy

  • High sensitivity for COVID-19 diagnosis

Serology/antibody testing
  • Further research still required for a proper/sensitive antibody test

  • ALT, alanine amino-transferase; AST, aspartate amino-transferase; CRP, C reactive protein; HRCT, high-resolution CT; INR, international randomised ratio; LDH, lactate dehydrogenase; PT, prothrombin time; RT-PCR, reverse-transcription PCR; rRT-PCR, real-time reverse-transcriptionPCR; WBC, white blood count.