The use of lung ultrasound during the COVID-19 pandemic A narrative review with specific focus on its role in pregnancy

Main Article Content

Aly Youssef
Marta Cavalera
Carlotta Azzarone
Carla Serra
Elena Brunelli
Paolo Casadio
Gianluigi Pilu

Keywords

lung, ultrasound, pneumonia, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2

Abstract

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a challenge to every health system. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this pandemic will disappear soon. No health system, with its present resources and workflow, is capable enough to deal with a full-blown wave of this pandemic. Acquisition of specific new skills may be fundamental in delivering appropriate health care for our patients. The gold standard for diagnosis of the COVID-19 infection is real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Radiological investigations (chest X-ray or high-resolution computerized tomography [CT]) can be helpful both for diagnosis and management, but they have many limitations. Ultrasound has been suggested as a reliable and accurate tool for assessing the lungs in COVID-19 patients. Lung ultrasound (LUS) can show specific signs of inter-stitial pneumonia, which is characteristic of COVID-19 pulmonary infection. In addition, nonradiologist specialists with experience in ultrasound can be trained on LUS with a relatively rapid learning curve. In pregnancy, LUS can be particularly useful due to the avoidance of exposure to ionizing radiation. In this review, we present the advantages, techniques, and limitations of the use of LUS during the COVID-19 pandemic, with specific focus on pregnancy.

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