A patient presenting with fever, hypoxia, productive cough, and leukocytosis can be diagnosed with pneumonia without any imaging findings. However, we often rely on X-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging to support the clinical diagnosis. Ultrasound is an effective imaging modality for identifying pneumonia without delay and radiation risks.1,2 A meta-analysis by Ye et al. in 2015 found that ultrasound diagnosis of pneumonia had a pooled sensitivity of 0.95 and a pooled specificity of 0.9, which is superior to X-ray imaging which had a pooled sensitivity of 0.77 and a similar pooled specificity of 0.9.3 This study used CT imaging as a gold standard for comparison.
Dong, MD, Michael; West, MD, Frances Mae; Davis, MD, Rebecca; Foster, MD, Jonathan; and Cooper, MD, Jillian
"A Guide to Point of Care Ultrasound Evaluation of Pneumonia,"
The Medicine Forum: Vol. 24, Article 16.
Available at: https://jdc.jefferson.edu/tmf/vol24/iss1/16