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BackgroundSemi-quantification of lung aeration by ultrasound helps to assess presence and extent of pulmonary pathologies, including the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It is uncertain which lung regions add most to the diagnostic accuracy for ARDS of the frequently used global lung ultrasound (LUS) score. We aimed to compare the diagnostic accuracy of the global versus those of regional LUS scores in invasively ventilated intensive care unit patients.MethodsThis was a post-hoc analysis of a single-center observational study in the mixed medical-surgical intensive care unit of a university-affiliated hospital in the Netherlands. Consecutive patients, aged ≥ 18 years, and are expected to receive invasive ventilation for > 24 h underwent a LUS examination within the first 2 days of ventilation. The Berlin Definition was used to diagnose ARDS, and to classify ARDS severity. From the 12-region LUS examinations, the global score (minimum 0 to maximum 36) and 3 regional scores (the 'anterior,' 'lateral,' and 'posterior' score, minimum 0 to maximum 12) were computed. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve was calculated and the best cutoff for ARDS discrimination was determined for all scores.ResultsThe study enrolled 152 patients; 35 patients had ARDS. The global score was higher in patients with ARDS compared to patients without ARDS (median 19 [15-23] vs. 5 [3-9]; P ConclusionsWhile the posterior score increases with ARDS severity, its diagnostic accuracy for ARDS is hampered due to an unfavorable signal-to-noise ratio. An 8-region 'anterolateral' score performs as well as the global score and may prove useful to exclude ARDS in invasively ventilated ICU patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Intensive care medicine experimental

Publication Date





Department of Intensive Care, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, AMC, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Lung Ultrasound Consortium