Ultrasound mapping of lung changes in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Introduction: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common and severe form of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, accounted for 20% of cases of interstitial lung disease (ILD). In this study, we sought to compare the lung changes of IPF using a lung ultrasound (LUS) protocol of 12 zones with "current standard" high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) diagnostic method and overlap it with the functional pulmonary test as a complete clinical and imaging evaluation.
Methods: Thirty-one patients were included in the study and performed HRCT and pulmonary functional tests (PFT). A 12-lung zones' LUS protocol was used and compared with HRCT and PFT.
Results: The HRCT total fibrotic score had a correlation coefficient of 0.454 (P < 0.005) with predicted FVC and 0.713 with predicted DLCO (P < 0.001). Both the median of the number of B-lines and the average of the thickness of the pleural line obtained in the LUS assessment had a positively and statistically significant correlation with the HRCT fibrotic score P < 0.001. The pleural thickness of 2.4 mm is the cut-off value of the mild form of fibrosis with a sensitivity of 0.958 and a specificity of 0.994.
Conclusion: B-lines and the average thickness of the pleural line as LUS markers of the fibrotic interstitial syndrome are highly and positively correlated with HRCT score, FVC and DLCO. LUS as a complementary method in the clinical management of IPF could be used more often by skilled clinicians to assess patients in terms of possible diagnosis and monitoring of IPF.