3 December 2020
Lung ultrasound (LUS) showed a promising role in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients hospitalized for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, no data are available on its role in elderly patients.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic and prognostic role of LUS in elderly patients hospitalized for severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia.
Consecutive elderly patients (age >65 years) hospitalized for COVID-19 were enrolled. Demographics, laboratory, comorbidity, and the clinical features of the patients were collected. All patients underwent LUS on admission to the ward. LUS characteristics have been analyzed. Uni- and multivariate analyses to evaluate predictors for in-hospital death were performed.
Thirty-seven hospitalized elderly patients (19 men) with a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection were consecutively enrolled. The median age was 82 years (interquartile range 74.5–93.5). Ultrasound alterations were found in all patients enrolled; inhomogeneous interstitial syndrome with spared areas (91.9%) and pleural alterations (100%) were the most frequent findings. At univariate analysis, LUS score (hazard ratio [HR] 1.168, 95% CI 1.049–1.301) and pleural effusions (HR 3.995, 95% CI 1.056–15.110) were associated with in-hospital death. At multivariate analysis, only LUS score (HR 1.168, 95% CI 1.049–1.301) was independelty associated with in-hospital death. The LUS score's best cutoff for distinguishing patients experiencing in-hospital death was 17 (at multivariate analysis LUS score ≥17, HR 4.827, 95% CI 1.452–16.040). In-hospital death was significantly different according to the LUS score cutoff of 17 ( p = 0.0046).