Combined lung and cardiac ultrasound in COVID-related acute respiratory distress syndrome

Link to article at PubMed

Intern Emerg Med. 2021 Mar 11. doi: 10.1007/s11739-021-02646-7. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Lung ultrasound (LU) is a useful tool for monitoring lung involvement in novel coronavirus (COVID) disease, while information on echocardiographic findings in COVID disease is to date scarce and heterogeneous. We hypothesized that lung and cardiac ultrasound examinations, serially and simultaneously performed, could monitor disease severity in COVID-related ARDS.

METHODS: We enrolled 47 consecutive patients with COVID-related ARDS (1st March-31st May 2020). Lung and cardiac ultrasounds were performed on admission, at discharged and when clinically needed.

RESULTS: Most patients were mechanically ventilated (75%) and veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was needed in ten patients (21.2%). The in-ICU mortality rate was 27%%. On admission, not survivors showed a higher LUS score (p = 0.006) and a higher incidence of consolidations (p = 0.003), lower values of LVEF (p = 0.027) and a higher RV/LV ratio (0.008). At discharge, a significant reduction in the incidence of subpleural consolidations (p < 0.001) and, thus, in LUS score (p < 0.001) and an increase in patter A findings (p < 0.001) together with reduced systolic pulmonary arterial pressures were detectable. In not survivors at final examination, an increased in LUS score (p < 0.001), and in RV/LV ratio (p < 0.001) associated with a reduction in TAPSE (p = 0.013) were observed. A significant correlation was observed between LUS and systolic pulmonary arterial pressure (p = 0.04). LUS and RV/LV resulted independent predictors of in-ICU death.

CONCLUSIONS: In COVID-related ARDS, the combined lung and cardiac ultrasound proved to be an useful clinical tool in monitoring disease progression and in identifying parameters (LU score and RV/LV ratio) able to risk stratifying these patients.

PMID:33704675 | DOI:10.1007/s11739-021-02646-7

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