In what was supposed to be a MRI scan for a breast cancer staging turned into a COVID-19 diagnosis for a 68-year-old British woman.

According to a report recently published in Radiology Case Reports, an abnormal mammogram led to the patient being diagnosed with invasive lobular breast carcinoma. She was then referred to the radiology department where a subsequent exam showed that she had unifocal carcinoma in “the upper, outer quadrant of her left breast.”

The woman was reportedly asymptomatic when she had the MRI, however she mentioned feeling mild upper respiratory symptoms two weeks before the scan. The images showed signs of subpleural consolations and a “high T2 signal intensity in the lung periphery and enhancement in subpleural regions on postcontrast, fat-saturated T1-weighted images,” all probable indicators that she had contracted coronavirus.

The radiologist encouraged the patient to undergo a chest scan, which found peripheral patchy airspace consolidation, a typical sign of COVID-19. The next day, the patient was suffering from breathlessness and went to the emergency room. There, she underwent a CT scan that showed “bilateral subpleural ground-glass opacities with consolidation and multiple right lower lobe segmental acute emboli.”
The patient was soon treated for COVID-19 and after recovering from an incidental pulmonary embolism she was discharged.