JOURNAL ARTICLE

Diagnostic accuracy of the Bedside Lung Ultrasound in Emergency protocol for the diagnosis of acute respiratory failure in spontaneously breathing patients

Felippe Leopoldo Dexheimer Neto, Juliana Mara Stormovski de Andrade, Ana Carolina Tabajara Raupp, Raquel da Silva Townsend, Fabiana Gabe Beltrami, Hélène Brisson, Qin Lu, Paulo de Tarso Roth Dalcin
Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia: Publicaça̋o Oficial da Sociedade Brasileira de Pneumologia e Tisilogia 2015, 41 (1): 58-64
25750675

OBJECTIVE: Bedside lung ultrasound (LUS) is a noninvasive, readily available imaging modality that can complement clinical evaluation. The Bedside Lung Ultrasound in Emergency (BLUE) protocol has demonstrated a high diagnostic accuracy in patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF). Recently, bedside LUS has been added to the medical training program of our ICU. The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy of LUS based on the BLUE protocol, when performed by physicians who are not ultrasound experts, to guide the diagnosis of ARF.

METHODS: Over a one-year period, all spontaneously breathing adult patients consecutively admitted to the ICU for ARF were prospectively included. After training, 4 non-ultrasound experts performed LUS within 20 minutes of patient admission. They were blinded to patient medical history. LUS diagnosis was compared with the final clinical diagnosis made by the ICU team before patients were discharged from the ICU (gold standard).

RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients were included in the analysis (mean age, 73.2 ± 14.7 years; APACHE II, 19.2 ± 7.3). LUS diagnosis had a good agreement with the final diagnosis in 84% of patients (overall kappa, 0.81). The most common etiologies for ARF were pneumonia (n = 17) and hemodynamic lung edema (n = 15). The sensitivity and specificity of LUS as measured against the final diagnosis were, respectively, 88% and 90% for pneumonia and 86% and 87% for hemodynamic lung edema.

CONCLUSIONS: LUS based on the BLUE protocol was reproducible by physicians who are not ultrasound experts and accurate for the diagnosis of pneumonia and hemodynamic lung edema.

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