COVID-19 pneumonia can be severe, with an unpredictable evolution and high mortality prevalence in older patients. The diagnosis is usually performed by RT-PCR or CT chest scan. Lung ultrasonography (LUS) has been proposed as an alternative method to monitor patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

To assess the diagnostic performance of LUS, we performed LUS using a portable device and adapting a protocol already used in Acute Respiratory Syndrome. We used the score obtained with the index we created to assess for LUS diagnostic performance as compared to lung CT chest scan and to predict for oxygen requirements.

Daily bedside LUS was easy to perform and microbiologically safe. LUS was 89% sensitive and 100% specific in predicting CT chest scan abnormalities, and 95% sensitive and 67% specific in detecting oxygen requirements.

This is the first report on the diagnostic performance of LUS as compared to CT chest scan for the diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia and assessments of oxygen requirements by LUS. LUS could help in the orientation of dyspneic patients to intensive care. It could also be proposed when there is limited access to CT scan in the context of a pandemic crisis, or to implement clinical lung examinations for outpatient follow-up.