Gerontology. 2020 Dec 3:1-9. doi: 10.1159/000512209. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Lung ultrasound (LUS) showed a promising role in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients hospitalized for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, no data are available on its role in elderly patients.
AIMS: The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic and prognostic role of LUS in elderly patients hospitalized for severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia.
METHODS: Consecutive elderly patients (age >65 years) hospitalized for COVID-19 were enrolled. Demographics, laboratory, comorbidity, and the clinical features of the patients were collected. All patients underwent LUS on admission to the ward. LUS characteristics have been analyzed. Uni- and multivariate analyses to evaluate predictors for in-hospital death were performed.
RESULTS: Thirty-seven hospitalized elderly patients (19 men) with a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection were consecutively enrolled. The median age was 82 years (interquartile range 74.5-93.5). Ultrasound alterations were found in all patients enrolled; inhomogeneous interstitial syndrome with spared areas (91.9%) and pleural alterations (100%) were the most frequent findings. At univariate analysis, LUS score (hazard ratio [HR] 1.168, 95% CI 1.049-1.301) and pleural effusions (HR 3.995, 95% CI 1.056-15.110) were associated with in-hospital death. At multivariate analysis, only LUS score (HR 1.168, 95% CI 1.049-1.301) was independelty associated with in-hospital death. The LUS score's best cutoff for distinguishing patients experiencing in-hospital death was 17 (at multivariate analysis LUS score ≥17, HR 4.827, 95% CI 1.452-16.040). In-hospital death was significantly different according to the LUS score cutoff of 17 (p = 0.0046).
CONCLUSION: LUS could play a role in the diagnosis and prognosis in elderly patients hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 infection.