B-lines with Lung Ultrasound: The Optimal Scan Technique at Rest and During Stress

on behalf of the, Stress Echo 2020 study group of the Italian Society of Cardiovascular Echography (SIEC), Stress Echo 2020 study group of the Italian Society of Cardiovascular Echography (SIEC)

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Abstract

Various lung ultrasound (LUS) scanning modalities have been proposed for the detection of B-lines, also referred to as ultrasound lung comets, which are an important indication of extravascular lung water at rest and after exercise stress echo (ESE). The aim of our study was to assess the lung water spatial distribution (comet map) at rest and after ESE. We performed LUS at rest and immediately after semi-supine ESE in 135 patients (45 women, 90 men; age 62 ± 12 y, resting left ventricular ejection fraction = 41 ± 13%) with known or suspected heart failure or coronary artery disease. B-lines were measured by scanning 28 intercostal spaces (ISs) on the antero-lateral chest, 2nd–5th IS, along with the midaxillary (MA), anterior axillary (AA), mid-clavicular (MC) and parasternal (PS) lines. Complete 28-region, 16-region (3rd and 4th IS), 8-region (3rd IS), 4-region (3rd IS, only AA and MA) and 1-region (left 3rd IS, MA) scans were analyzed. In each space, the B-lines were counted from 0 = black lung to 10 = white lung. Interpretable images were obtained in all spaces (feasibility = 100 %). B-lines (>0 in at least 1 space) were present at ESE in 93 patients (69%) and absent in 42. More B-lines were found in the 3rd IS and along AA and MA lines. The B-line cumulative distribution was symmetric at rest (right/left = 1.10) and asymmetric with left lung predominance during stress (right/left = 0.67). The correlation of per-patient B-line number between 28-S and 16-S (R2 = 0.9478), 8-S (R2 = 0.9478) and 4-S scan (R2 = 0.9146) was excellent, but only good with 1-S (R2 = 0.8101). The average imaging and online analysis time were 5 s per space. In conclusion, during ESE, the comet map of lung water accumulation follows a predictable spatial pattern with wet spots preferentially aligned with the third IS and along the AA and MA lines. The time-saving 4-region scan is especially convenient during stress, simply dismissing dry regions and focusing on wet regions alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2558-2566
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Volume43
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Lung
  • Stress
  • Water

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    on behalf of the, Stress Echo 2020 study group of the Italian Society of Cardiovascular Echography (SIEC), & Stress Echo 2020 study group of the Italian Society of Cardiovascular Echography (SIEC) (2017). B-lines with Lung Ultrasound: The Optimal Scan Technique at Rest and During Stress. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 43(11), 2558-2566. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2017.07.007