Luigi Vetrugno

and 7 more

B-LINES IN COVID-19: “UNSPECIFICITY” IS NOT “MEANINGLESS”Luigi Vetrugno1,2 MD, Prof, Tiziana Bove1,2 MD, Prof, Daniele Orso1 MD, Federico Barbariol2 MD, Flavio Bassi2 MD, Enrico Boero3 MD, Giovanni Ferrari4 MD, Robert Kong5MD, FRCA, EDIC,1Department of Medicine, University of Udine, ItalyAnesthesia and Intensive Care ClinicVia Colugna n° 50, 33100 Udine, Italy2University-Hospital of Udine, ItalyDepartment of Anesthesia and Intensive CareP.le S. Maria della. Misericordia n° 15, 33100 Udine, Italy3Anesthesia and Intensive Care, San Giovanni Bosco Hospital, Torino, Italy4SC Pneumologia ad Indirizzo Semi Intensivo, Azienda Ospedaliera Ordine Mauriziano. Largo Turati 62 – Torino, Italy5 Cardiac Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, Brighton & Sussex University Hospital, Brighton BN2 5BE United KingdomShort title: lung ultrasound and B-lines*Corresponding author:Prof. Luigi Vetrugno, MDDepartment of Medicine, University of Udine, ItalyAnesthesia and Intensive Care ClinicVia Colugna n° 50, 33100 Udine, ItalyPhone: +39 0432 559509Fax: +39 0432 559502Financial Support and Sponsorship: None.Conflict of Interest: Luigi Vetrugno received travel support for Congress Lecture by Cook Medical.The other authors declare no conflict of interest.Key works: Lung Ultrasound; interstitial syndrome, COVID-19, B-lines.Authors’ contributions LV and DO concept, design and drafting the manuscript. TB, FB, EB, FB, GF critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. RK critical review and editing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.We thank Prof. Trovato and Dr Sperandeo for commenting on our article.1 We agree with them that lung ultrasound (LU) imaging is useful and our aim was to provide readers with a succinct overview of how LU was used in the care of COVID-19 patients at two centres in Italy.2 The frequent finding in COVID-19 patients of lung consolidation at the inferior and basal regions means that one of the limitations of LU, which is to perform a complete assessment of the periphery of the lungs, is mitigated, as affected regions are not obscured by the scapula. Other authors have shown that in COVID-19 patients, LU provided results similar to those of computed tomography (CT) of the lung and superior to those of standard chest x-rays.3-5 Therefore, LU provides clinicians with another mode of lung imaging that can be performed non-invasively and without the logistic challenges of obtaining CT lung scan in these patients, as is well-known to centers who have been faced with a large caseload.6 As stated in our article, we have not identified an LU finding that is pathognomonic of COVID-19.1-7 However, the presence of B lines in several different clinical situations does not decrease their significance. In medicine, many signs are frequent in various diseases, like fever, but this is not a good reason to underestimate or not consider them at all. Furthermore, emerging ultrasound image analysis based on artificial intelligence and deep learning has the potential to further enhance the utility of LU.8-9 Although caution is needed in terms of exaggerating the power of LU, we hope it will continue to be used widely after the pandemic.ReferencesSperandeo M, Trovato G. Usefulness of lung ultrasound imaging in Covid-19 pneumonia: the persisting need of safety and evidences. Echocardiography. in press (ECHO-2020-0386)Vetrugno L, Bove T, Orso D, et al. Our Italian experience using lung ultrasound for identification, grading and serial follow-up of severity of lung involvement for management of patients with COVID-19. Echocardiography. 2020;37:625‐627. doi:10.1111/echo.14664Huang Y, Wang S, Liu Y. A Preliminary Study on the Ultrasonic Manifestations of Peripulmonary Lesions of Non-Critical Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (COVID-19). SSRN. 2020. doi: 10.21203/rs.2.24369/v1Jin YH, Cai L, Cheng ZS, et al. A rapid advice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infected pneumonia (standard version). Mil Med Res. 2020;7:4. doi: 10.1186/s40779-020-0233-6Convissar D, Gibson LE, Berra L, Bittner EA, Chang MG. Application of Lung Ultrasound during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Narrative Review [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 30]. Anesth Analg. 2020;10.1213/ANE.0000000000004929. doi:10.1213/ANE.0000000000004929Wang E, Mei W, Shang Y, et al. Chinese Association of Anesthesiologists Expert Consensus on the Use of Perioperative Ultrasound in Coronavirus Disease 2019 Patients [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 10]. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2020;S1053-0770(20)30325-6. doi:10.1053/j.jvca.2020.04.002Vetrugno L, Bove T, Orso D, Bassi F, Boero E, Ferrari G. Lung Ultrasound and the COVID-19 ”Pattern”: Not All That Glitters Today Is Gold Tomorrow [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 8]. J Ultrasound Med. 2020;10.1002/jum.15327. doi:10.1002/jum.15327Corradi F, Brusasco C, Vezzani A, et al. Computer-aided quantitative ultrasonography for detection of pulmonary edema in mechanically ventilated cardiac surgery patients. Chest 150:640‐651, 2016 doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.04.013Gullett J, Donnelly JP, Sinert R, et al. Interobserver agreement in the evaluation of B-lines using bedside ultrasound. J Crit Care. 2015;30:1395-1399 doi:10.1016/j.jcrc.2015.08.021