Lung ultrasound (LUS) is recognized as a valid imaging technique for the diagnosis and follow-up of pneumonia in pediatric age, but no data are currently available about LUS use in children with COVID-19. This observational study examined all children and adolescents admitted to the pediatric infectious diseases department for documented COVID-19 at Regina Margherita Children’s Hospital (Turin, Italy) between March 18 and March 26, 2020.
The authors present epidemiological and clinical features for 8 children, including:
2 cases (25%) classified as severe clinical types, 2 (25%) as moderate, and 4 (50%) as mild
2 (25%) children needed noninvasive oxygen administration for 2 and 4 days, respectively. None of them required mechanical ventilation.
LUS was performed in all 8 patients, LUS revealed subpleural consolidations in 2 children and confluent B-lines in 5 children.
7 of 8 patients had a concordance with the radiologic findings, whereas in the remaining patient, an interstitial B-lines pattern was observed despite a normal chest radiography
1 patient with severe clinical type was repeatedly examined with LUS on alternate days, with a B-lines bilateral pattern reduction a day in advance before clinical and radiographic improvement.
In summary, although the sample size is small, the high concordance between radiologic and LUS findings in this study suggests that ultrasound may be a reasonable method to detect lung abnormalities in children with COVID-19. The authors suggest that routine LUS protocol examinations may be a useful tool in the diagnostic and clinical management of mild or severe COVID-19 in children.