Background: The prognostic value of point-of-care lung ultrasound has not been evaluated in a large cohort of patients with COVID-19 admitted to general medicine ward in the United States. The aim of this study was to describe lung ultrasound findings and their prognostic value in patients with COVID-19 admitted to internal medicine ward.
Method: This prospective observational study consecutively enrolled 105 hospitalized participants with COVID-19 at 2 tertiary care centers. Ultrasound was performed in 12 lung zones within 24 hours of admission. Findings were assessed relative to 4 outcomes: intensive care unit (ICU) need, need for intensive respiratory support, length of stay, and death.
Results: We detected abnormalities in 92% (97/105) of participants. The common findings were confluent B-lines (92%), non-homogenous pleural lines (78%), and consolidations (54%). Large confluent B-lines, consolidations, bilateral involvement, and any abnormality in ≥ 6 areas were associated with a longer hospitalization and need for intensive respiratory support. Large confluent B-lines and bilateral involvement were also associated with ICU stay. A total lung ultrasound score <5 had a negative predictive value of 100% for the need of intensive respiratory support. A higher total lung ultrasound score was associated with ICU need (median total 18 in the ICU group vs. 11 non-ICU, p = 0.004), a hospitalization ≥ 9d (15 vs 10, p = 0.016) and need for intensive respiratory support (18 vs. 8.5, P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Most patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had lung ultrasound abnormalities on admission and a higher lung ultrasound score was associated with worse clinical outcomes except death. A low total lung ultrasound score (<5) had a negative predictive value of 100% for the need of intensive respiratory support. Point-of-care ultrasound can aid in the risk stratification for patients with COVID-19 admitted to general wards.
Recommended CitationYasukawa, Kosuke; Minami, Taro; Boulware, David R; Shimada, Ayako; and Fischer, Ernest A, "Point-of-Care Lung Ultrasound for COVID-19: Findings and Prognostic Implications From 105 Consecutive Patients" (2021). Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Faculty Papers. Paper 127.
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