Can point-of-care lung ultrasound (POCUS) be implemented as a substitute for chest CT scan for the assessment of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia?


Background: In the novel COVID outbreak , chest imaging was in the front door for the diagnostic approach to any patient with respiratory symptoms , including chest HRCT & lung ultrasound modalities.Objective: To find the correlation between lung ultrasound and chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) signs in patients suffering from COVID-19 pulmonary involvement. Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional observational study conducted in Arbil / Iraq, from July to November 2020 , enrolled 50 patients who assessed using HRCT and lung ultrasound (LUS),12 areas in the chest examined by ultrasound and corresponding percentage (absent or limited, moderate, extensive, severe & critical grads ) of lung affection on HRCT.Results: Analysis of the obtained data from 50 affected patients done , a highly significant positive relation noted between the findings on ultrasound & the extend of lung involvement by chest HRCT (r factor 0.78, the p-value was <0.001), the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of LUS were 90%, 70% ,and 68% respectively.Conclusion: The current study showed that ultrasound and HRCT are parallel in assessing the extent of lung involvement among COVID-19 pneumonia victims, thus making lung ultrasound a relevant substitute for HRCT.