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Brief outlines benefits of using lung ultrasound in children with COVID-19 :

April 21, 2020

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Lung ultrasound might be a reasonable method to detect lung abnormalities in children with mild/severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with potential benefits for patients and health care providers, according to a research brief published today in Pediatrics.

The preliminary report outlines lung ultrasound characteristics in eight children ages 0 to 17 years old with COVID-19 admitted to the Regina Margherita Children’s Hospital in Turin, Italy.

The study cited potential benefits of using lung ultrasound in children with COVID-19, including:

  • Reduced exposure to radiation if the number of radiologic examinations is reduced.
  • Reduced exposure to COVID-19 by health care workers and medical devices if the child does not have to be moved within the hospital.
  • Reduced risk of contamination and simpler sterilization procedures if wireless ultrasound devices are available that can be wrapped in disposable plastic covers.

To date, only clinical and radiographic characteristics of COVID-19 in children have been described. However, lung ultrasound is a valid imaging technique for pneumonia in children.

A table in the report outlines epidemiologic and clinical features of the children with COVID-19 stratified by clinical types. Data on pulmonary consolidation and ground glass opacities for radiography and pulmonary consolidation and interstitial B-lines pattern for lung ultrasound are provided for the eight patients.

Authors acknowledged the need for more lung ultrasound studies in pediatric COVID-19 patients.

“While the number of patients analyzed is small, the high concordance between radiologic and LUS (lung ultrasound) findings suggests that ultrasound may be a reasonable method to detect lung abnormalities in children with COVID-19,” they wrote.

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