CLUE: COVID-19 lung ultrasound in emergency department

Emerg Med Australas. 2020 Aug;32(4):694-696. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.13546. Epub 2020 Jun 16.


Lung ultrasound (LUS) plays a critical role in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Evidence is mounting on its utility to diagnose, assess the severity and as a triage tool in the ED. Sonographic features correlate well to computed tomography (CT) chest findings and a bedside LUS performed by a trained clinician along with clinical examination, could be an alternative to chest X-ray and CT chest in these highly infectious patients. In this article, we have described a step-by-step approach to LUS in COVID patients and the CLUE (COVID-19 LUS in the ED) protocol, which involves an anatomical parameter, the severity of lung changes, objectively scored using the validated LUS scoring system and a physiological parameter, oxygen requirement. We believe this CLUE protocol can help risk-stratify patients presenting to ED with suspected COVID-19 and aid clinicians in making appropriate disposition decisions.

Keywords: CLUE; COVID-19; POCUS; emergency; lung ultrasound.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Clinical Protocols*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography*