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SARS-CoV-2 Nasopharyngeal Swab Testing—False-Negative Results From a Pervasive Anatomical Misconception

Educational Objective
To understand how an anatomical misconception can contribute to false-negative results in SARS-CoV-2 Nasopharyngeal Swab testing
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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Thomas S. Higgins, MD, MSPH, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders, University of Louisville School of Medicine, 6420 Dutchmans Pkwy, Ste 380, Louisville, KY 40205 (thomas.higgins@louisville.edu).

Published Online: September 17, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.2946

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Higgins reported being a paid research investigator for Optinose and Gossamer and receiving personal fees from Sanofi-Regeneron and Genentech outside the submitted work. Dr Wu reported receiving payment for positions as a speaker for Sanofi-Regeneron and Optinose, a member of a medical advisory board for Optinose and Gossamer, and an investigator for Gossamer outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.

References
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim guidelines for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens for COVID-19: interim guidelines for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens from persons for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website. Accessed May 14, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/guidelines-clinical-specimens.html
2.
West  CP , Montori  VM , Sampathkumar  P .  COVID-19 testing: the threat of false-negative results.   Mayo Clin Proc. 2020;95(6):1127-1129.doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.04.004PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Fang  Y , Zhang  H , Xie  J ,  et al.  Sensitivity of chest CT for COVID-19: comparison to RT-PCR.   Radiology. 2020;296(2):E115-E117.doi:10.1148/radiol.2020200432PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Wang  W , Xu  Y , Gao  R ,  et al.  Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in different types of clinical specimens.   JAMA. 2020;323(18):1843-1844. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.3786PubMedGoogle Scholar
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Tunsjø  HS , Berg  AS , Inchley  CS , Røberg  IK , Leegaard  TM .  Comparison of nasopharyngeal aspirate with flocked swab for PCR-detection of respiratory viruses in children.   APMIS. 2015;123(6):473-477. doi:10.1111/apm.12375PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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