In a letter published in Intensive Care Medicine, Chinese researchers suggest that ultrasound imaging of the lungs may be a useful alternative to chest CT scans to identify patients with COVID-19.

Lung ultrasonography gives the results that are similar to chest CT and superior to standard chest radiography for evaluation of pneumonia and/or adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with the added advantage of ease of use at point of care, repeatability, absence of radiation exposure, and low cost.

In this report, we summarize our early experience with lung ultrasonography for evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 infection in China with the intent of alerting frontline intensivists to the utility of lung ultrasonography for management of COVID-19.

We performed lung ultrasonography on 20 patients with COVID-19 using a 12-zone method.

Characteristic findings included the following:

Thickening of the pleural line with pleural line irregularity;

B lines in a variety of patterns including focal, multifocal, and confluent;

Consolidations in a variety of patterns including multifocal small, non-translobar, and translobar with occasional mobile air bronchograms;

Appearance of A lines during recovery phase

Pleural effusions are uncommon.

Read more at Springer Link.