Published Online:

In this issue of Radiology, Dr Jeff Kanne and coauthors present their updated information for radiologists regarding COVID-19 (1), presenting a brief synopsis of the imaging literature on COVID-19 in relationship to use of chest CT. The basis for this inaugural Radiology Scientific Expert Panel statement was an extraordinary number of research manuscripts submitted over the last several weeks on novel coronavirus (nCoV) emerging from Wuhan, China, later renamed COVID-19.

With the emergence of chest CT to detect COVID-19 infection, Radiology has received more than 230 manuscripts on COVID-19 alone in the past 4 weeks. To put these numbers into perspective, we receive that number of manuscripts on all topics throughout the entire field of radiology over a typical 4 week period.

The standard academic peer process of publication is slow; authors know time from submission to publication can take 6–12 months. Although this journal has developed methods to shorten the time to publication for priority topics (called “fast track”), prior Radiology publications on Ebola or SARS infections still took up to 3 months to appear online.

We determined that our existing processes for publication were insufficient to rapidly respond to a fast-progressing infectious disease. At the same time, we saw a more than 10-fold increase in reviewer and editorial staff burden for manuscripts on COVID-19. In response, our editorial board developed and put in place new processes for rapid editorial and peer review for COVID-19 manuscripts, along with daily briefings of editorial board, publication, and marketing staff.

Beginning in June 2019, our Radiology editorial board retreat focused on a gap in our field pertaining to emerging areas of radiologic imaging. There is often insufficient information in the literature for well-formed medical guidelines, and niche topics—of critical importance to developing fields—may flounder due to lack of consensus or guidelines. Our editorial board conceived of a Radiology Scientific Expert Panel to take on such topics. This idea was presented to our full editorial board at the RSNA Annual Meeting in 2019.

In the case of COVID-19, the Radiology Scientific Expert Panel went one step further. Expert panel members provided ultra-rapid peer review (within 24 hours) of the most promising COVID-19 imaging research. The Expert Review panel was overseen by Dr Jeff Kanne at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and coordinated by Dr Mark Schiebler, Deputy Editor for Thoracic Imaging on our editorial board. Together, our expert reviewers and editorial board members have reviewed imaging research involving several thousand patients with COVID-19. The result is a series of high-quality research publications (2-9) with downloads that are 6 to 30 times greater than the average article published in Radiology. Several of our COVID-19 publications have been in the top two or three trending articles on all PubMed.

We want to conclude by thanking our review panel members for their generous time commitment to improving imaging research in this rapidly changing field. We anticipate convening future Scientific Expert Panels to help distill additional contemporary topics in Radiology.


  • 1. Kanne J, et al. Essentials for radiologists on COVID-19: an update—Radiology Scientific Expert Panel. Radiology 2020;296:. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020200527. Published online February 27, 2020. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 2. Bernheim A, Mei X, Huang M, et al. Chest CT Findings in Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19): Relationship to Duration of Infection. Radiology 2020. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020200463. Published online February 20, 2020. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 3. Chung M, Bernheim A, Mei X, et al. CT Imaging Features of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Radiology 2020. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020200230. Published online February 4, 2020. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 4. Fang Y, Zhang H, Xie J, et al. Sensitivity of Chest CT for COVID-19: Comparison to RT-PCR. Radiology 2020. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020200432. Published online February 19, 2020. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 5. Fang Y, Zhang H, Xu Y, Xie J, Pang P, Ji W. CT Manifestations of Two Cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Pneumonia. Radiology 2020. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020200280. Published online February 7, 2020. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 6. Pan F, Ye T, Sun P, et al. Time Course of Lung Changes On Chest CT During Recovery From 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pneumonia. Radiology 2020. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020200370. Published online February 13, 2020. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 7. Ai T, Yang Z, Hou H, et al. Correlation of Chest CT and RT-PCR Testing in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China: A Report of 1014 Cases. Radiology 2020. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020200642. Published online February 26, 2020. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 8. Song F, Shi N, Shan F, et al. Emerging Coronavirus 2019-nCoV Pneumonia. Radiology 2020. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020200274. Published online February 6, 2020. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 9. Xie X, Zhong Z, Zhao W, Zheng C, Wang F, Liu J. Chest CT for Typical 2019-nCoV Pneumonia: Relationship to Negative RT-PCR Testing. Radiology 2020. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2020200343. Published online February 12, 2020. LinkGoogle Scholar

Article History

Published online: Feb 27 2020
Published in print: Aug 2020