Diagnostic value of cardiopulmonary ultrasound in elderly patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome

BACKGROUND Lung ultrasound and echocardiography are mainly applied in critical care and emergency medicine. However, the diagnostic value of cardiopulmonary ultrasound in elderly patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is still unclear.
METHODS Consecutive patients admitted to ICU with the diagnosis of suspected ARDS based on clinical grounds were enrolled. Cardiopulmonary ultrasound was performed as part of monitoring on day 1, day 2 and day 3. On each day a bedside ultrasound was performed to examine the lungs and calculate the Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction (LVEF). On day 3, a thoracic CT was performed on each patient as gold standard for ARDS imaging diagnosis. According to the results from CT scan, patients were grouped into ARDS group or Non-ARDS group. The relation between the cardiopulmonary ultrasound results on each day and the results of CT scan was analyzed.
RESULTS Fifty one consecutive patients aged from 73 to 97 years old were enrolled. Based on CT criteria, 33 patients were classified into the ARDS group, while 18 patients were included in non-ARDS group. There was no significant difference between the two groups in baseline characteristics, including gender, age, underlying disease, comorbidities, APACHE II score, SOFA score, and PaO2/FiO2 ratio (P > 0.05). Lung ultrasound (LUS) examination results were consistent with the CT scan results in diagnosis of pulmonary lesions. The Kappa values were 0.55, 0.74 and 0.82 on day 1, day 2 and day 3, respectively. The ROC analysis showed that the sensitivity, specificity and area under curve of ROC (AUROC) for lung ultrasound in diagnose ARDS were 0.788,0.778,0.783;0.909,0.833,0.871;0.970,0.833,0.902 on day 1, day 2 and day 3, respectively. However, cardiopulmonary ultrasound performed better in diagnosing ARDS in elderly patients. The sensitivity, specificity and AUROC were 0.879,0.889,0.924;0.939,0.889,0.961;and 0.970,0.833,0.956 on day 1, day 2 and day 3, respectively. The combined performances of cardiopulmonary ultrasound, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and PaO2/FiO2 ratio improved the specificity of the diagnosis of ARDS in elderly patients.
CONCLUSIONS LUS examination results were consistent with the CT scan results in diagnosis of pulmonary lesions. Cardiopulmonary ultrasound has a greater diagnostic accuracy in elderly patients with ARDS, compared with LUS alone. The combined performances of cardiopulmonary ultrasound, NT-proBNP, and PaO 2 /FiO 2 increased the specificity of the diagnosis of ARDS in elderly patients.

as reported in: BMC Pulm Med. 2018 Aug 13; 18(1): 136