Lung ultrasound may be a valuable aid in decision making for patients admitted with COVID-19 disease

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INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 is associated with a risk of severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), requiring treatment at an intensive care unit (ICU). Since clinical deterioration may occur rapidly, a simple, fast, bedside, non-invasive method for assessment of lung changes is warranted. The primary aim of this study was to investigate whether lung ultrasound (LUS) findings within 72 hours of admission were predictive of clinical deterioration in hospitalized patients with confirmed Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). METHODS: Patients admitted to a dedicated COVID-19 unit were subject to daily LUS examinations. Number of present consolidations and pleural effusions were registered and a Mongodi score was calculated. These findings were correlated with initial chest x-ray and clinical deterioration, defined as ICU-admission, ARDS diagnosis, death. RESULTS: In total, 29 of 83 patients had LUS performed during admission, 18 within 72 h of admission. Of these, four patients died during admission, six were transferred to the ICU and 13 were diagnosed with ARDS. Initial Mongodi-score did not differ significantly between patients with and without clinical deterioration (p = 0.95). Agreement between initial LUS and chest x-ray findings were fair with Cohen's Kappa at 0.21. CONCLUSION: LUS performed within 72 h in patients admitted to a dedicated COVID-19 unit could not predict ARDS, ICU admission or death. However, consecutive investigations may be of value, as sudden substantial changes may herald disease progression, enabling earlier supplementary diagnostics and treatment initiation.

TidsskriftEuropean Clinical Respiratory Journal
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 7. apr. 2021

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© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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