Thoracic ultrasound and SARS-COVID-19: a pictorial essay

J Ultrasound. 2020 Jun;23(2):217-221. doi: 10.1007/s40477-020-00458-7. Epub 2020 Apr 16.


Thoracic ultrasound seems to adapt to the screening for lung involvement of patients with suspected or ascertained SARS-COVID-19 infection due to its characteristics of easy applicability. It can be also a relevant method in monitoring patients. B lines are early finding of COVID-19, even in mild-symptomatic subjects; in the most serious cases such as pre-ARDS or ARDS, the B lines end up filling the ultrasound image almost completely, until it merges, so as to create a single hyperechoic image named as "white lung", with distortion and irregularity of the pleural line. In advanced stage, lung consolidations are present, representing pulmonary pathological areas that are no longer normally ventilated.

Keywords: COVID-19; Lung; Ultrasound; Virus.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Thorax / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography*