Pneumonia diagnosis

Lung ultrasound for the diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia?

Bedside lung ultrasound could be used to effectively identify patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, according to a preliminary study.

Although chest computed tomography is widely regarded as the modality of choice for estimating lung damage, such ultrasounds are not always available in emergency rooms. As an alternative, bedside ultrasound of the lungs is frequently used to assess patients with acute respiratory failure, frequently diagnosing pneumonia.

As global COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise, investigators in Italy, led by Erika Poggiali, MD, of Ospedale Guglielmo da Saliceto, assessed whether lung ultrasound could be an effective tool for also identify patients with pneumonia specifically associated with the virus. They published their findings in a letter to the editor recently in Radiology.

To determine if the ultrasound could be used to identify COVID-19 pneumonia, researchers analyzed 12 emergency department patients (nine men and three women) who had developed flu-like symptoms within 4 to 10 years. days before, as well as a COVID-19 infection. . These people received both a lung ultrasound and a CT scan.

According to the results, CT scans correlated strongly with ultrasound – all 12 patients had frosted glass opacity and five patients had a crazy tessellation pattern. Scans identified a diffuse B pattern with spared areas in all patients, and only three had posterior subpleural consolidations.

Ultimately, four patients were confirmed to have organized pneumonia – a finding that was also detected by lung ultrasound.

Investigators acknowledged the research was early, but said the findings could be used to impact patient care.

“We are aware that our data is preliminary and that more studies are needed to confirm the role of lung ultrasound in the diagnosis and management of COVID-19, but we strongly recommend the use of bedside ultrasound. of the patient for the early diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia in all patients who presented to the emergency room with flu-like symptoms in the new COVID-19 era, ”Poggiali wrote.