COVID-19 can lead to life-threatening pulmonary edema in some patients, while others are asymptomatic.
A method could help doctors predict worsening of patients with COVID-19.
Researchers at Policlinico San Matteo in Pavia have built a way to determine a patient’s lungs based solely on the ultrasound of the body.
The ability to make predictions about medical conditions will aid the physician’s decision making about patient care.
Umberto Sabatini’s talk which was titled “Is lung ultrasound a predictor of worsening in Covid-19 patients?” was given at the 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.
52 patients were checked on the instrument in the hospital between March 15 and April 29.
They used ultrasound on patients arriving in the emergency department to see how well the lungs were. Using 14 points in the lungs, the researchers graded how much each point was abnormal, as well as the magnitude of each abnormality.
When researchers totaled all the scores, they found that the overall lung ultrasound score was higher in patients who needed supplementary oxygen, required admission to the intensive care unit, or died. Patients with three or more scores that hit a score of 3 were 6 times more likely to have an adverse result than those with scores of 1 or 2.
From the report, the researchers found a chart called a nomogram that can help physicians predict a patient’s risk of deteriorating based on how they performed on a lung ultrasound test.
The diagnostic will help flag if a patient has a serious health problem.
The test is easy to administer as well.
A scan of each site takes just 10 seconds, so the whole test only takes 15 to 20 minutes.
Meeting: the ‘ 179th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.