J Ultrasound Med. 2021 Jul;40(7):1391-1399. doi: 10.1002/jum.15521. Epub 2020 Sep 30.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to describe findings from lung ultrasound (LUS) and computed tomography (CT) in health professionals with coronavirus disease 2019 pneumonia and to evaluate the associations of the findings of both tests.
METHODS: This cross-sectional observational study evaluated 45 health professionals who were initially seen in screening tents and had a diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 as confirmed by a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and lung involvement diagnosed by LUS. Subsequently, these individuals were admitted to the hospital, where chest CT was performed. Aeration scores were obtained for the LUS examinations based on the following findings: more than 2 B-lines, coalescent B-lines, and subpleural consolidations. A subjective assessment of the extent of lung disease on CT was performed on the basis of the percentage of lung parenchyma involvement as follows: 25% or less, 25% to 50%, and greater than 50%.
RESULTS: Regarding LUS signs, more than 2 B-lines, coalescent B-lines, and subpleural consolidations were present in 73.3%, 68.2%, and 24.4% of cases, respectively. The main findings on CT were ground glass opacities, a crazy-paving pattern, and consolidations (66.7%, 20%, and 20% of cases); 17.8% of cases had examinations without abnormalities. Patients with more than 2 B-lines on LUS had more ground glass opacity areas on CT (P = .0007), whereas patients with subpleural consolidations on LUS had more consolidations on CT (P < .0001). In addition, patients with higher LUS aeration scores had more extensive disease on CT (P < .0001).
CONCLUSIONS: Lung ultrasound can detect lung injury even in the presence of normal CT results. There are associations between the abnormalities detected by both methods, and a relationship also exists between LUS aeration scores and the disease extent on CT.