Lung Ultrasound in COVID-19 Pneumonia: Correlations with Chest CT on Hospital admission.Respiration. 2020; 99(7):617-624.R
Lung ultrasound (LUS) is an accurate, safe, and cheap tool assisting in the diagnosis of several acute respiratory diseases. The diagnostic value of LUS in the workup of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) in the hospital setting is still uncertain.
The aim of this observational study was to explore correlations of the LUS appearance of COVID-19-related pneumonia with CT findings.
Twenty-six patients (14 males, age 64 ± 16 years) urgently hospitalized for COVID-19 pneumonia, who underwent chest CT and bedside LUS on the day of admission, were enrolled in this observational study. CT images were reviewed by expert chest radiologists, who calculated a visual CT score based on extension and distribution of ground-glass opacities and consolidations. LUS was performed by clinicians with certified competency in thoracic ultrasonography, blind to CT findings, following a systematic approach recommended by ultrasound guidelines. LUS score was calculated according to presence, distribution, and severity of abnormalities.
All participants had CT findings suggestive of bilateral COVID-19 pneumonia, with an average visual scoring of 43 ± 24%. LUS identified 4 different possible -abnormalities, with bilateral distribution (average LUS score 15 ± 5): focal areas of nonconfluent B lines, diffuse confluent B lines, small subpleural microconsolidations with pleural line irregularities, and large parenchymal consolidations with air bronchograms. LUS score was significantly correlated with CT visual scoring (r = 0.65, p < 0.001) and oxygen saturation in room air (r = -0.66, p < 0.001).
When integrated with clinical data, LUS could represent a valid diagnostic aid in patients with suspect COVID-19 pneumonia, which reflects CT findings.