Lung semiotics ultrasound in COVID-19 infection

Agatella Barchitta, Mauro Pepi, Ines Monte, Giuseppe Trocino, Andrea Barbieri, Quirino Ciampi, Alberto Cresti, Sofia Miceli, Licia Petrella, Frank Benedetto, Maio Daniele, Francesco Antonini-Canterin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper aims to highlight the usefulness of 'bedside' lung ultrasound in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The evaluation of lung artifacts allows to detect at the subpleural level the presence of an altered 'tissue/air' ratio both in case of consolidative or not consolidative lung lesions. Furthermore, lung ultrasound allows acquiring topographical images of the lesions, establishing their extension on the lung surface as well as their evolution or regression over time, without radiation exposure. Since ultrasound semiotics is already widely known and described in other similar diseases (acute respiratory distress syndrome, interstitial flu virus, and pneumonia), thoracic ultrasound is a useful diagnostic tool in different scenarios in the COVID-19 pandemic: in the first triage of symptomatic patients, both in the prehospital setting or in the emergency department, in the prognostic stratification and monitoring of patients with pneumonia, and in the management of patients in the intensive care unit. Moreover, 'bedside' lung ultrasound can reduce the number of health-care workers exposed to the virus during patient assessment and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S1-S5
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Echography
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Artifacts
  • COVID-19
  • lung ultrasound
  • semiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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