Antonio Nouvenne a , Marco Davìd Zani a , b , Gianluca Milanese c , Alberto Parise a , Marco Baciarello b , d , Elena Giovanna Bignami b , d , Anna Odone e , Nicola Sverzellati b , c , Tiziana Meschi a , b , Andrea Ticinesi a , *
22 June 2020
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).