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COVID-19 Medical Imaging Safety

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued respiratory virus guidance for patients and medical facilities. This guidance includes common safety precautions such as vaccination, physical distancing, avoiding crowds, wearing a mask, and frequent hand washing.

After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, some patients may develop enlarged lymph nodes in their underarms. These enlarged nodes can mimic the appearance of serious conditions on mammography or screening breast ultrasound images. However, there is no need to delay chest x-ray or mammography exams in patients who have no symptoms of serious disease.

For more information about breast and chest imaging, see the Mammography and Chest CT pages.

Is it Safe to Have an Imaging Exam Now?

Radiologists and other health professionals share the public’s concerns about safety, especially when it comes to seeking medical care unrelated to COVID-19. The medical community takes  precautions to reduce the risk of virus exposure as much as possible.

Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about seeking medical care or undergoing medical imaging. In most cases, the benefit of medical care and imaging to your overall health far outweighs any possible risk of infection.

Always tell your imaging facility before you arrive if you have any COVID symptoms and if you have been in physical contact with anyone who has COVID-19. This will help staff make your visit as safe as possible for everyone.

If you have COVID symptoms, the imaging staff will likely take extra measures to safely perform your exam. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about COVID safety or symptoms.

Trusted, recognized sources of credible COVID-19 information may be found at, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . For more information, visit:

If you still have questions or concerns about COVID symptoms and/or safety, talk to your doctor and your medical imaging facility staff before your appointment.

This page was reviewed on March 20, 2024

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Please note is not a medical facility. Please contact your physician with specific medical questions or for a referral to a radiologist or other physician. To locate a medical imaging or radiation oncology provider in your community, you can search the ACR-accredited facilities database.

This website does not provide cost information. The costs for specific medical imaging tests, treatments and procedures may vary by geographic region. Discuss the fees associated with your prescribed procedure with your doctor, the medical facility staff and/or your insurance provider to get a better understanding of the possible charges you will incur.

Web page review process: This Web page is reviewed regularly by a physician with expertise in the medical area presented and is further reviewed by committees from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR), comprising physicians with expertise in several radiologic areas.

Outside links: For the convenience of our users, provides links to relevant websites., RSNA and ACR are not responsible for the content contained on the web pages found at these links.