Lung ultrasound for pneumonia – systematic review and meta-analysis
In a paper recently published in Chest, Llamas-Álvarez et al have undertaken a systematic review and meta-analysis of lung ultrasound for the diagnosis of pneumonia in adults. Studies examining patients over the age of 18 with either community acquired or nosocomial pneumonia were included. The reference standard was plain radiography, CT scanning or both.
The authors identified 16 studies involving 2359 patients. Six studies were performed in an ICU setting, 7 in emergency departments, with remainder in wards or a combined ward /ED. The reported sensitivities and specificities of the individual studies ranged from 0.57 – 1.00 and 0.54-0.99 respectively.
The meta-analysis showed a pooled sensitivity of 80-90% and specificity of 70-90%, with an area under the SROC curve of 0.93, leading the authors to conclude that “bedside lung ultrasonography has excellent accuracy for the diagnosis of pneumonia in adults”.