J Cardiovasc Echogr. 2020 Oct;30(Suppl 2):S11-S17. doi: 10.4103/jcecho.jcecho_54_20. Epub 2020 Oct 27.
The "gold" standard radiological method for the diagnosis of the lung findings in COVID-19 patients is known to be the chest high-resolution computed tomography. However, in a mass casualty scenario, as in times of COVID-19 epidemics, in which emergency departments, intensive care units, and whole hospitals are massive overcrowded and continue to change their original configuration, a more rapid, flexible, and performant diagnostic approach is required. Moreover, the high contagiousness of these patients and the risk of transporting critical patients make chest computed tomography (CT) a limited option for them. Lung ultrasonography, a rapid, reliable, bedside, nonradiating and repeatable examination, with its sensitivity closed to chest CT and much higher than the chest X-ray for COVID patients, has proved to be in COVID-19 pandemic as crucial diagnostic and monitoring tool of patients with acute respiratory failure. It could be performed in the prehospital setting, in the emergency department (as part of the diagnostic approach), up to the normal wards and the intensive care unit. The aim of this article is to describe the central role of LUS in the management of COVID-19 critically ill patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, as valid diagnostic and monitoring point-of-care technique.