Use of lung ultrasound in neonates during the COVID-19 pandemic

Marcia Wang Matsuoka, Silvia Maria Sucena da Rocha, Maria Augusta Bento Cicaroni Gibelli, Carla Marques Nicolau, Werther Brunow de Carvalho, Lisa Suzuki
Radiologia Brasileira 2020, 53 (6): 401-404
In the current pandemic, caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, ultrasound has played a fundamental role in patients who develop the resulting disease, designated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this study we present ultrasound images of the lungs of neonates with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, distinguishing between the changes related to COVID-19 and those unrelated to the disease. Ultrasound examinations were performed by a pediatric sonographer. A total of 27 neonates were evaluated. Among those who presented no respiratory symptoms, some tested negative for COVID-19 and others tested positive. All of those who were pulmonary symptomatic, negative for COVID-19 presented transient tachypnea of the newborn and respiratory distress syndrome. Lung ultrasound images obtained in COVID-19-negative neonates showed, in some cases, a normal pattern (with A lines, few B lines, a thin, linear pleural line, and no pleural effusion), whereas in others showed coalescent B lines and areas of opacity. In two of the COVID-19-positive neonates, lung ultrasound examination showed several coalescent B lines, pleural thickening, and areas of opacity. Lung ultrasound in the neonatal period appears to be applicable within the context of the current pandemic, allowing efficient evaluation of COVID-19-related changes in neonates, as well as of pathologies inherent to the neonatal period.

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