Dataset on ultrasound findings of lung ultrasonography in COVID-19: a systematic review

Published: 28 January 2022| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/zrpz6267n6.2


This is a systematic review according to the PRISMA guidelines. We queried PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Scopus using the terms ((coronavirus) OR (covid-19) OR (sars AND cov AND 2) OR (2019-nCoV)) AND (("lung ultrasound") OR (LUS)), from 31st of December 2019 to 31st of January 2021. Confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection, 18 years old or older patients and original studies with at least 10 participants were included. We found 1333 articles, from which 67 articles were included, with a pooled population of 4700 patients. The most examined findings were at least 3 B-lines, confluent B-lines, subpleural consolidation, pleural effusion and bilateral or unilateral distribution. B-lines, its confluent presentation and pleural abnormalities are the most frequent findings. LUS score was higher in intensive care unit (ICU) patients and emergency department (ED), and it is associated with a higher risk of developing unfavorable outcomes (death, ICU admission or need for mechanical ventilation). LUS findings and/or the LUS score has a good negative predictive value in the diagnosis of COVID-19 compared to RT-PCR. This dataset is being submitted via European Journal of Radiology as a co-submission.


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For data processing, the reference and document management tool Mendeley® and the calculation spreadsheet programme Microsoft Excel® were used. Two independent operators, were involved in the search, selection and inclusion, with no communication of results between them during the process. In a first search, we screened by title and abstract of the article, and in a second phase according to the full text. Discrepancies between the two researchers were resolved by a third researcher. Data were collected in a data template common to both investigators. The variables collected from the selected studies were title, authors, date, type of study, total number of participants and number of PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases, characteristics of the included patients (age, sex, BMI, clinical severity, associated comorbidity or any other selection criteria), setting (hospital, primary care, emergency department), time of LUS acquisition, presence or absence of blinding evaluation of LUS images, transducer used, number of fields scanned, ultrasound findings (pulmonary B lines, pleural thickening, pleural irregularity, subpleural consolidation, pulmonary consolidation, pleural effusion, lung ultrasound score (LUS score)) and LUS performance in diagnosing COVID-19 cases and predicting clinical outcomes. The LUS score results for the purpose of comparison are disaggregated into the adapted LUS score (to calculate the pooled mean LUS score, the LUS score of each individual study was converted to the equivalent LUSS it would have reported in case of having always examined 12 anatomical zones by multiplying the LUSS by 12/number of lung areas scanned), the normalised LUS score (nLUS, describing the average score of the analysed fields) and the LUS index (LUSI, the percentage of involvement of the total possible score). Clinical outcomes were often varied among different studies, so we collected the following: in-hospital death (or death after a certain follow-up time), need for mechanical intubation, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). During the selection phase, in case of overlapping population samples, the most recent study was chosen. We used the guidelines of the Cochrane Collaboration's "Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions" as a bias assessment tool.


Hospital Universitario San Cecilio


Ultrasound, Ultrasonography of Chest, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, COVID-19