To determine the diagnostic accuracy of extended lung ultrasonographic assessment, including evaluation of dynamic air bronchograms and color Doppler imaging to differentiate pneumonia and atelectasis in patients with consolidation on chest radiograph. Compare this approach to the Simplified Clinical Pulmonary Infection Score, Lung Ultrasound Clinical Pulmonary Infection Score, and the Bedside Lung Ultrasound in Emergency protocol.
Prospective diagnostic accuracy study.
Adult ICU applying selective digestive decontamination.
Adult patients that underwent a chest radiograph for any indication at any time during admission. Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, coronavirus disease 2019, severe thoracic trauma, and infectious isolation measures were excluded.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:
Lung ultrasound was performed within 24 hours of chest radiograph. Consolidated tissue was assessed for presence of dynamic air bronchograms and with color Doppler imaging for presence of flow. Clinical data were recorded after ultrasonographic assessment. The primary outcome was diagnostic accuracy of dynamic air bronchogram and color Doppler imaging alone and within a decision tree to differentiate pneumonia from atelectasis. Of 120 patients included, 51 (42.5%) were diagnosed with pneumonia. The dynamic air bronchogram had a 45% (95% CI, 31–60%) sensitivity and 99% (95% CI, 92–100%) specificity. Color Doppler imaging had a 90% (95% CI, 79–97%) sensitivity and 68% (95% CI, 56–79%) specificity. The combined decision tree had an 86% (95% CI, 74–94%) sensitivity and an 86% (95% CI, 75–93%) specificity. The Bedside Lung Ultrasound in Emergency protocol had a 100% (95% CI, 93–100%) sensitivity and 0% (95% CI, 0–5%) specificity, while the Simplified Clinical Pulmonary Infection Score and Lung Ultrasound Clinical Pulmonary Infection Score had a 41% (95% CI, 28–56%) sensitivity, 84% (95% CI, 73–92%) specificity and 68% (95% CI, 54–81%) sensitivity, 81% (95% CI, 70–90%) specificity, respectively.
In critically ill patients with pulmonary consolidation on chest radiograph, an extended lung ultrasound protocol is an accurate and directly bedside available tool to differentiate pneumonia from atelectasis. It outperforms standard lung ultrasound and clinical scores.