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ObjectiveLung ultrasound (LUS) is an emerging tool that may be used in the diagnosis and follow-up of children with viral bronchiolitis. In this study, we describe LUS abnormalities in children receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) for severe bronchiolitis in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Our aim was to semiquantify the loss of aeration and examine the association between serial LUS scores and oxygenation anomaly, as a marker of disease severity.DesignProspective, observational study in a single-center PICU.MethodsLUS was performed by multiple observers using two different LUS scoring systems (counting B-lines and aeration score) in 17 patients in the PICU, generating 320 images. Oxygen saturation index (OSI) was the primary outcome marker to describe the severity of oxygenation anomaly.ResultsPulmonary aeration was moderately impaired with a homogeneous anterolateral pattern. LUS scores worsened after 24 hours, to improve in subsequent days. Both LUS scores were positively correlated with OSI on the first day of IMV (counting B-lines P = .034, r = .52 and LUS aeration score P = .017, r = .57), but not thereafter. There was considerable variability in the LUS scores despite moderate to high agreement between the observers.ConclusionsIn children receiving IMV for severe bronchiolitis, pulmonary aeration is moderately impaired. LUS scores positively correlate with severity of oxygenation anomaly only in the acute phase of disease. We speculate that with the progression of disease other factors affect LUS patterns (eg, fluid overload, atelectasis), which may complicate the interpretation of LUS in follow-up of this specific cohort in the PICU.

Original publication




Journal article


Pediatric pulmonology

Publication Date





2799 - 2805


Department of Pediatric Intensive Care, Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, location AMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Lung, Humans, Bronchiolitis, Ultrasonography, Respiration, Artificial, Infant, Female, Male