Intern Emerg Med. 2023 Jun 14. doi: 10.1007/s11739-023-03325-5. Online ahead of print.
Lung Ultrasound (LUS) is a reliable, radiation free and bedside imaging technique to assess several pulmonary diseases. Although the diagnosis of COVID-19 is made with the nasopharyngeal swab, detection of pulmonary involvement is key for a safe patient management. LUS is a valid alternative to explore, in paucisymptomatic self-presenting patients, the presence and extension of pneumonia compared to High Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) that represent the gold standard. This is a single-centre prospective study with 131 patients enrolled. Twelve lung areas were explored reporting a semiquantitative assessment to obtain the LUS score. Each patient performed reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction test (rRT-PCR), hemogasanalysis and HRCT. We observed an inverse correlation between LUSs and pO2, P/F, SpO2, AaDO2 (p value < 0.01), a direct correlation with LUSs and AaDO2 (p value < 0.01). Compared with HRCT, LUS showed sensitivity and specificity of 81.8% and 55.4%, respectively, and VPN 75%, VPP 65%. Therefore, LUS can represent an effective alternative tool to detect pulmonary involvement in COVID-19 compared to HRCT.