Role of lung ultrasound in identifying COVID-19 pneumonia in patients with negative swab during the outbreak

  • Giuseppe Aiosa Internal Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliera Santi Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo, Alessandria, Italy.
  • Romina Gianfreda Internal Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliera Santi Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo, Alessandria, Italy.
  • Marco Pastorino Internal Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliera Santi Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo, Alessandria, Italy.
  • Piero Davio | pierodavio@gmail.com Internal Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliera Santi Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo, Alessandria, Italy.

Abstract

Lung ultrasound is a reasonable tool for detection of manifestations of COVID-19, to facilitate the division of patients flow of infected with SARS-CoV-2 from those affected by other pathologies. Often, a reason for the incorrect separation of the flows is the possibility of false-negative rRT-PCR results. We aimed to evaluate the advantages of performing Lung Ultrasound (LUS) in patients with a negative swab, to confirm the suspicious of COVID-19 at the bedside, according to the recent findings of typical lung ultrasound lesions of COVID19 related pneumonia. We analyzed 11 non-critical patients admitted to Emergency Department in the Internal Medicine ward, during outbreak, as Covid-19 negative patients affected by pneumonia. The result of the ultrasound findings conditioned the consequent allocation of the patient. 9/11 patients had typical LUS findings for COVID-19, but only 3/11 patients had a second positive nasopharyngeal swab, and 2/11 had positive swab on pleural fluid. 6/11 patients remained negative with strongly suspicious LUS lesions, and so treated and isolated as Covid-19 positive. 2/11 had negative swab and none LUS findings, thus treated as affected by other pathologies. These findings clearly show how LUS plays an important role together with the chest x-ray in identifying patients with interstitial pneumonia from COVID-19.

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Published
2020-05-08
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Lung ultrasound, COVID-19, pneumonia, rRT-PCR, negative swab
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How to Cite
Aiosa, G., Gianfreda, R., Pastorino, M., & Davio, P. (2020). Role of lung ultrasound in identifying COVID-19 pneumonia in patients with negative swab during the outbreak. Emergency Care Journal, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/ecj.2020.9026