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Thứ Hai, 4 tháng 10, 2021

Importance of Lung Ultrasound Follow-Up in Patients Who Had Recovered from Coronavirus Disease 2019

There is growing evidence regarding the imaging findings of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in lung ultrasounds, however, their role in predicting the prognosis has yet to be explored. Our objective was to assess the usefulness of lung ultrasound in the short-term follow-up (1 and 3 months) of patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, and to describe the progression of the most relevant lung  ultrasound findings. We conducted a prospective, longitudinal and observational study performed in patients with confirmed COVID-19 who underwent a lung ultrasound examination during hospitalization and repeated it 1 and 3 months after hospital discharge. A total of 96 patients were enrolled. In the initial ultrasound, bilateral involvement was present in 100% of the patients with mild, moderate or severe ARDS. The most affected lung area was the postero-inferior (93.8%) followed by the lateral (88.7%). Subpleural consolidations were present in 68% of the patients and consolidations larger than 1 cm in 24%. One month after the initial study, only 20.8% had complete resolution on lung ultrasound. This percentage rose to 68.7% at 3 months. Residual lesions were observed in a significant percentage of patients who recovered from moderate or severe ARDS (32.4% and 61.5%, respectively). 

In conclusion, lung injury associated with COVID-19 might take time to resolve. The findings in this report support the use of lung ultrasound in the short-term follow-up of patients recovered from COVID-19, as a radiation-sparing, easy to use, novel care path worth exploring.

Keywords: coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); lung ultrasound (LUS); lung score

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