Pradhan S, et al. J Crit Care 2020.
PURPOSE: Studies have shown that lung-ultrasound may be superior to chest x-ray (CXR) in diagnosing ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). This study investigated whether the use of lung-ultrasound monitoring could detect VAP earlier and improve patient outcome.
METHODS: This was a single-center diagnostic randomized controlled trial. In the control group, VAP was diagnosed using a combination of CXR and clinical findings. In the intervention group, VAP was diagnosed using a combination of lung-ultrasound and clinical findings. The primary outcome measured was ventilator free days (VFD). Secondary outcomes were ICU mortality, length of stay in ICU, change in Sequential Organ Failure Score at day 4 compared to day 0 (delta SOFA), antibiotic duration and ventilator days.
RESULTS: We randomized intubated patients until 44 VAP diagnosis was made in each group. VFD was higher in the intervention group than in the control group (7.80+/- 9.7 days versus 3.7+/- 6.4 days, p = .044). There were no differences between the groups in terms of ICU mortality (p=.104), ICU length of stay, (p = .058), ventilator days, (p = .081), delta SOFA (p = .10) and antibiotic duration (p = .70).
CONCLUSION: The use of lung-ultrasound monitoring for diagnosis of VAP improves patient outcome when compared to the standard diagnostic strategy that relies on CXR.