Lung ultrasonography to diagnose meconium aspiration syndrome of the newborn

Jing Liu, Hai-Ying Cao, Wei Fu
Journal of International Medical Research 2016, 44 (6): 1534-1542
Objective To investigate the diagnostic value of lung ultrasonography for neonatal meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS). Methods This prospective observational study enrolled patients diagnosed with MAS based on medical history, clinical manifestations and chest X-ray and control newborns without MAS. During ultrasonography, each lung was divided into three regions (front, lateral, and back), using anterior and posterior axillary lines as the boundary. While scanning each region of the lungs, the hand piece was perpendicular or parallel to the ribs. Results This study enrolled 117 newborns with MAS and 100 controls. The main lung ultrasonographic findings in patients with MAS were: (i) pulmonary consolidation with air bronchogram was found in all patients; (ii) pleural line anomalies and the disappearance of the A-line was found in all patients; (iii) atelectasis was found in 19 (16.2%) severe cases, who demonstrated severe massive atelectasis and visible lung pulse; (iv) pleural effusion was found in 16 patients (13.7%); and (v) alveolar-interstitial syndrome or B-line in the non-consolidation area was found in all patients with MAS. Conclusion Ultrasonography can be used routinely to diagnose MAS in an accurate, reliable, convenient, and non-invasive manner.

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