Can follow up lung ultrasound in Coronavirus Disease-19 patients indicate clinical outcome?

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PLoS One. 2021 Aug 25;16(8):e0256359. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256359. eCollection 2021.


PURPOSE: To evaluate whether there is a change in findings of coronavirus disease 2019 patients in follow up lung ultrasound and to determine whether these findings can predict the development of severe disease.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this prospective monocentric study COVID-19 patients had standardized lung ultrasound (12 area evaluation) at day 1, 3 and 5. The primary end point was detection of pathologies and their change over time. The secondary end point was relationship between change in sonographic results and clinical outcome. Clinical outcome was assessed on development of severe disease defined as need for intensive care unit.

RESULTS: Data of 30 patients were analyzed, 26 patients with follow-up lung ultrasound. All of them showed lung pathologies with dynamic patterns. 26,7% developed severe disease tending to have an ubiquitous lung involvement in lung ultrasound. In patients with need for intensive care unit a previously developed increase in B-lines, subpleural consolidations and pleural line irregularities was more common. A statistically significant association between change in B-lines as well as change in pleural line irregularities and development of severe disease was observed (p<0,01).

CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates that follow up lung ultrasound can be a powerful tool to track the evolution of disease and suggests that lung ultrasound is able to indicate an impending development of severe disease in COVID-19 patients.

PMID:34432835 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0256359