J Pers Med. 2021 Jul 30;11(8):757. doi: 10.3390/jpm11080757.
BACKGROUND: Lung ultrasound (LUS) is a useful imaging method for identifying COVID-19 pneumonia. The aim of this study was to explore the role of LUS in predicting the severity of the disease and fatality in patients with COVID-19.
METHODS: This was a single-center, follow-up study, conducted from 1 November 2020, to 22 March 2021. The LUS protocol was based on the assessment of 14 lung zones with a total score up to 42, which was compared to the disease severity and fatality.
RESULTS: A total of 133 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia confirmed by RT-PCR were enrolled, with a median time from hospital admission to lung ultrasound of one day. The LUS score was correlated with clinical severity at hospital admission (Spearman's rho 0.40, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.53, p < 0.001). Patients with higher LUS scores were experiencing greater disease severity; a high flow nasal cannula had an odds ratio of 1.43 (5% CI 1.17-1.74) in patients with LUS score > 29; the same score also predicted the need for mechanical ventilation (1.25, [1.07-1.48]). An LUS score > 30 (1.41 [1.18-1.68]) and age over 68 (1.26 [1.11-1.43]) were significant predictors of fatality.
CONCLUSIONS: LUS at hospital admission is shown to have a high predictive power of the severity and fatality of COVID-19 pneumonia.