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Lung ultrasound points to Covid severity

Date: 25 July 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Lung ultrasound has been found highly sensitive for detecting abnormalities in patients with Covid-19, according to research.

 

Background

Scientists believe that lung ultrasound is the most effective way of examining various consequences of COVID-19 infection, which could not have been clear with a normal X-ray.

 

Details

  • It has been established by various scientists and doctors that the novel coronavirus which causes the COVID-19 disease is a respiratory virus and primarily affects the lungs.

  • Most people who contract the virus present with mild respiratory symptoms (breathlessness and cough) but in some people, this virus leads to severe pneumonia. 

  • The most commonly observed features were B-lines, a thickened pleural line, and pulmonary consolidation. In addition, the results indicate that lung ultrasound findings can be used to reflect both the infection duration and disease severity.

  • The researchers did lung ultrasound on Covid-19 patients. All 28 patients had positive findings on lung ultrasound.

  • B-lines were present in all patients, and 19 (67.9%) patients had pulmonary consolidation. Thickened pleural lines were observed in 17 patients (60.7%).

  • B-lines are long wide bands of a bright light that look similar to that of a comet-tail. Their presence indicates pneumonia and pulmonary contusion in the lungs.

  • The ultrasounds were done within a month after the initial symptoms of COVID-19 appeared in these patients. The duration of symptoms from initial onset to the day of lung ultrasound was classified as early (less than 20 days), intermediate (20 to 30 days), or late (more than 30 days).

  • The ultrasound further showed that pulmonary consolidation was significantly higher in patients with severe symptoms (13 patients) than those in the moderate group (6 patients). The only patient with pleural effusion was in the moderate group.

  • The scientists believe that lung ultrasound is the most effective way of examining various consequences of COVID-19 infection, which could not have been clear with a normal X-ray.