Complications of nasal SARS-CoV-2 testing: a review

James H. Clark, Sharon Pang, Robert M. Naclerio, Matthew Kashima

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Transnasal swab testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 is well established. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advocates swabbing either of the anterior nares, middle turbinate, or nasopharynx for specimen collection depending on available local resources. The purpose of this review is to investigate complications related to transnasal SARS-CoV-2 testing with specific attention to specimen collection site and swab approach. The literature demonstrates that while nasopharyngeal swabbing is associated with an increased risk of complications, it should remain the gold-standard test due to greater diagnostic accuracy relative to anterior nasal and middle turbinate swabs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1399-1403
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • COVID-19
  • education
  • medical
  • nasal cavity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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