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Open AccessArticle

Lung Ultrasound Is Often, but Not Always, Normal in Healthy Subjects: Considerations for COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy
2
Division of Internal Medicine, IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, via Albertoni 15, 40138 Bologna, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diagnostics 2021, 11(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11010082
Received: 30 October 2020 / Revised: 14 December 2020 / Accepted: 4 January 2021 / Published: 6 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
Background: Lung ultrasound (LU) is becoming an increasingly important diagnostic tool in detecting lung involvement in Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to ascertain the likelihood of finding LU abnormalities; mimicking lung involvement; in COVID-19 negative healthy individuals. Methods: We performed LU on 265 healthcare workers; not presenting COVID-19 major symptoms and in good health; during the course of a serological screening program for COVID-19 in our General Hospital. LU results were reported as total Lung Ultrasound Score (LUS) using a 12-zone method of reporting. Results: 250/265 subjects were included in the COVID-19 negative group. LU was not completely normal (LUS ¹ 0) in 65/250 COVID-19 negative subjects (26%) and in 12/15 (80%) poorly symptomatic COVID-19 positive subjects; with a multifocal pattern in 12.7% vs. 66.7% of cases respectively. Age and COVID-19 positivity were independent predictors of total LUS. A total LUS ³ 2 had a sensitivity of 66.67% and a specificity of 85.60% in detecting COVID-19 positivity. Conclusions: A slightly altered LU can be quite frequent in healthy COVID-19 negative subjects. LU can have a role in confirming but not screening COVID-19 poorly symptomatic cases
Keywords: lung ultrasound; point-of-care ultrasound; subpleural consolidations; interstitial syndrome; COVID-19; healthy individuals lung ultrasound; point-of-care ultrasound; subpleural consolidations; interstitial syndrome; COVID-19; healthy individuals
MDPI and ACS Style

Raiteri, A.; Alvisi, M.; Serio, I.; Stefanini, F.; Tovoli, F.; Piscaglia, F. Lung Ultrasound Is Often, but Not Always, Normal in Healthy Subjects: Considerations for COVID-19 Pandemic. Diagnostics 2021, 11, 82.

AMA Style

Raiteri A, Alvisi M, Serio I, Stefanini F, Tovoli F, Piscaglia F. Lung Ultrasound Is Often, but Not Always, Normal in Healthy Subjects: Considerations for COVID-19 Pandemic. Diagnostics. 2021; 11(1):82.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Raiteri, Alberto; Alvisi, Margherita; Serio, Ilaria; Stefanini, Federico; Tovoli, Francesco; Piscaglia, Fabio. 2021. "Lung Ultrasound Is Often, but Not Always, Normal in Healthy Subjects: Considerations for COVID-19 Pandemic" Diagnostics 11, no. 1: 82.

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