Performance comparison of lung ultrasound and chest x-ray for the diagnosis of pneumonia in the ED

Jean-Eudes Bourcier, Julie Paquet, Mickael Seinger, Emeric Gallard, Jean-Philippe Redonnet, Fouad Cheddadi, Didier Garnier, Jean-Marie Bourgeois, Thomas Geeraerts
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2014, 32 (2): 115-8

OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to assess the potential of bedside lung ultrasound examination by the attending emergency physician in the diagnosis of acute pneumonia.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This observational single-center study was conducted between January 2010 and June 2012 in the emergency unit of a general hospital, and analyzed 144 adult patients. The ultrasound examination was performed by one of five trained emergency physicians, and a chest radiograph interpreted by a radiologist. The primary end point was the diagnosis of hospital discharge.

RESULTS: We found a sensitivity of 0.95 for the ultrasound examination against 0.6 for radiography (P < .05). The negative predictive value was 0.67 against 0.25 for radiography (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: These results exhort to promote the use of thoracic ultrasound in the first-line diagnosis of pneumonia.

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