An ultrasound examination of lung tissue is able to demonstrate how severe the coronavirus is and what complications it leaves. The researchers drew attention to the fact that in those patients who have long time intervals for the manifestation of the disease after the first symptoms, the complications in the lungs are very critical. They appear as a thickened pleural line during ultrasound examination.
Yao Zhang, a leading specialist at Beijing Central Hospital, noted that such results can be used to reflect both the duration of the infection and the severity of the disease.
Throughout March, Zhang and his colleagues organized a lung ultrasound for those patients with mild symptoms of the coronavirus and severe acute respiratory syndrome. The specialists then compared the ultrasound data, taking into account the duration of the symptoms and the severity of the patients' illness. 28 people were involved - 14 men and 14 women aged from 21 to 92.
All of them tested positive for COVID-19, confirmed by lung ultrasound and chest CT. B-lines were observed in 100% of patients. Pulmonary consolidation was reported in 19%. Thickened pleural lines were observed in 17% of patients.
But it was the thickened pleural line that attracted the attention of the researchers. It manifested itself long after the first symptoms. Pulmonary lumps on ultrasound reflected very little airflow and an increased volume of inflammatory cellular exudate, which eventually led to difficult critical cases.
The researchers believe that the involvement of radiographs and ultrasound in the diagnosis and determination of treatments is useful in identifying the complexity of the course of the disease and the appointment of therapy. These methods are especially useful on an outpatient basis.