Ultrasound assessment of antibiotic-induced pulmonary reaeration in ventilator-associated pneumonia*

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Abstract

Objectives:

To compare lung reaeration measured by bedside chest radiography, lung computed tomography, and lung ultrasound in patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia treated by antibiotics.

Design:

Computed tomography, chest radiography, and lung ultrasound were performed before (day 0) and 7 days following initiation of antibiotics.

Setting:

A 26-bed multidisciplinary intensive care unit in La Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital (University Paris–6).

Patients:

Thirty critically ill patients studied over the first 10 days of developing ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Interventions:

Antibiotic administration.

Measurements and Main Results:

Computed tomography reaeration was measured as the additional volume of gas present within both lungs following 7 days of antimicrobial therapy. Lung ultrasound of the entire chest wall was performed and four entities were defined: consolidation; multiple irregularly spaced B-lines; multiple abutting ultrasound lung “comets” issued from the pleural line or a small subpleural consolidation; normal aeration. For each of the 12 regions examined, ultrasound changes were measured between day 0 and 7 and a reaeration score was calculated. An ultrasound score >5 was associated with a computed tomography reaeration >400 mL and a successful antimicrobial therapy. An ultrasound score <–10 was associated with a loss of computed tomography aeration >400 mL and a failure of antibiotics. A highly significant correlation was found between computed tomography and ultrasound lung reaeration (Rho = 0.85, p < .0001). Chest radiography was inaccurate in predicting lung reaeration.

Conclusions:

Lung reaeration can be accurately estimated with bedside lung ultrasound in patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia treated by antibiotics. Lung ultrasound can also detect the failure of antibiotics to reaerate the lung.

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