Sonography of the Lungs: Diagnosis and Surveillance of Patients With COVID-19 swab during the outbreak

Kevin D. Evans, Qian Yang, Yang Liu, Ruizhong Ye and Chengzhong Peng


The outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with symptoms that mimic bronchitis and other chest infections has created a need for quick diagnosis to prevent disease spread. Traditionally, computed tomography (CT) has been used as the primary method to identify infection and staging of the virus. While effective, repeated use of ionizing radiation, particularly in susceptible patient populations, can add risk as the disease is monitored through full recovery. Sonography of the chest may be a viable alternative for diagnosis and monitoring of COVID-19. In addition, new technology such as the remote robotic ultrasound equipment being used at Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital in Hangzhou, China, has the potential to facilitate sonographic evaluation with minimal disease exposure to the sonologist and to other patients by eliminating the need for patient transport to imaging facilities. Additional studies will need to be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of sonography versus other imaging modalities in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 and other novel diseases.

Keywords: emerging technology, transthoracic ultrasonography, telemedicine, coronavirus.

Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography 2020, Vol. 36(4) 370–376
© The Author(s) 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/8756479320917107