Lung Ultrasound Findings in Patients With Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2021 Jan;216(1):80-84. doi: 10.2214/AJR.20.23513. Epub 2020 Jul 22.


OBJECTIVE. Although chest CT is the standard imaging modality in early diagnosis and management of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the use of lung ultrasound (US) presents some advantages over the use of chest CT and may play a complementary role in the workup of COVID-19. The objective of our study was to investigate US findings in patients with COVID-19 and the relationship of the US findings with the duration of symptoms and disease severity. MATERIALS AND METHODS. From March 3, 2020, to March 30, 2020, consecutive patients with a positive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test result for the virus that causes COVID-19 were enrolled in this study. Lung US was performed, and the imaging features were analyzed. The Fisher exact test was used to compare the percentages of patients with each US finding between groups with different symptom durations and disease severity. RESULTS. Our study population comprised 28 patients (14 men and 14 women; mean age ± SD, 59.8 ± 18.3 years; age range, 21-92 years). All 28 patients (100.0%, 28/28) had positive lung US findings. The most common findings were the following: B-lines (100.0%, 28/28), consolidation (67.9%, 19/28), and a thickened pleural line (60.7%, 17/28). A thickened pleural line was observed in a higher percentage of patients with a longer duration of the disease than in those with a shorter duration of the disease, and pulmonary consolidations were more common in severe and critical cases than in moderate cases. CONCLUSION. Typical lung US findings in patients with COVID-19 included B-lines, pulmonary consolidation, and a thickened pleural line. In addition, our results indicate that lung US findings can be be used to reflect both the infection duration and disease severity.

Keywords: COVID-19; US; coronavirus disease; sonography; ultrasound.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / diagnostic imaging*
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • China
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ultrasonography / methods*