Applicability of lung ultrasound in COVID-19 diagnosis and evaluation of the disease progression: A systematic review

Link to article at PubMed

Pulmonology. 2021 Mar 22:S2531-0437(21)00050-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pulmoe.2021.02.004. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic originated in China and within about 4 months affected individuals all over the world. One of the limitations to the management of the COVID-19 is the diagnostic imaging to evaluate lung impairment and the patients' clinical evolution, mainly, in more severe cases that require admission into the intensive care unit. Among image examinations, lung ultrasound (LU) might be a useful tool to employ in the treatment of such patients.

METHODS: A survey was carried out on PubMed to locate studies using the descriptors: ((Lung ultrasound OR ultrasound OR lung ultrasonography OR lung US) AND (coronavirus disease-19 OR coronavirus disease OR corona virus OR COVID-19 OR COVID19 OR SARS-CoV-2)). The period covered by the search was November 2019 to October 2020 and the papers selected reported LU in COVID-19.

RESULTS: Forty-three studies were selected to produce this systematic review. The main LU findings referred to the presence of focal, multifocal and/or confluent B lines and the presence of pleural irregularities.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of LU in the evaluation of patients with COVID-19 should be encouraged due to its intrinsic characteristics; a low cost, radiation free, practical method, with easy to sanitize equipment, which facilitates structural evaluation of lung damage caused by SARS-CoV-2. With the increase in the number of studies and the use of ultrasound scans, LU has been shown as a useful tool to evaluate progression, therapeutic response and follow-up of pulmonary disease in the patients with COVID-19.

PMID:33931378 | DOI:10.1016/j.pulmoe.2021.02.004

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