Lung Ultrasound Findings Compared to Chest CT Scan in Patients with COVID-19 Associated Pneumonia: A Pilot Study
Introduction: Lung US has been reported to be as useful as a chest CT scan and much better than a chest x-ray for the evaluation of pneumonia. Objective: This study aimed to compare the findings of lung ultrasound (US) and chest CT scan of patients with COVID-19-associated pneumonia in the Emergency Department (ED). Methods: This retrospective observational pilot study was carried out on confirmed COVID-19 patients in the isolation corona ward of the Imam Hussein Hospital ED from March 15 to March 22, 2020. After obtaining demographic data, the patients underwent a pulmonary bedside US examination, with the patients in the sitting position, turning their back to the examiner. A 10-point lung US was performed. Each lung was divided into two areas: posterior (three zones) and lateral (two zones). The patients’ lung ultrasound and chest CT scan as the standard imaging were blindly reviewed and recorded. The clinical value of ultrasound was evaluated with different severity of lung involvement according to CT severity score. Results: Nineteen patients (38 zones), including 13 males, were evaluated with a mean age of 62.5±16.8 years. B2 lines and consolidation observed in the US examinations were significantly correlated with ground-glass opacity and consolidation observed in CT scan examinations, respectively (p <0.0001). US sensitivity and specificity of finding B2 lines were 90% and 100%, respectively. Also, the sensitivity and specificity of US in identifying consolidation were 82% and 100%, respectively. In the lungs with moderate and severe lobar involvement, US findings were significantly correlated (p <0.05) with CT scan findings. Conclusions: Ultrasound evaluation is a safe, fast, and rapid technique for the evaluation of patients with moderate to severe COVID-19-associated pneumonia. It is a reproducible procedure and can be implemented by the operator after a short course of training.
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