March 01, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccinations Can Result in False Positive Medical Imaging Exams: What Can Medical Providers Do?

Reston, VA (March 1, 2020) – A new article published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR®) explains how patients recently vaccinated for COVID-19 can experience false positive imaging exams and outlines steps providers can take to reduce unwarranted follow-up care for these findings.

Among other steps, the authors recommend documenting vaccination information (date(s) of vaccination(s), injection site (left/right: arm/thigh), type of vaccine) on intake forms and having this information available to the radiologist at the time of exam interpretation.

The authors say these recommendations are designed to:

  1. Reduce patient anxiety, provider burden and costs of unnecessary evaluation of enlarged nodes in the setting of recent vaccination.
  2. Avoid further delays in vaccinations and recommended imaging for best patient care during the pandemic.

“Unilateral lymphadenopathy after COVID-19 vaccination is likely something that all radiologists will observe over the next several months. The recommendations by this author group may help practices manage this issue,” said Christoph Lee, MD, MBA, Deputy Editor of JACR.

For more information regarding the JACR, visit

To arrange an interview with study authors or an ACR representative, contact Shawn Farley or Debbie Kakol at 703-648-8936 or