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Background: Lung ultrasound (LUS) is increasingly used as an extension of physical examination, informing clinical diagnosis, and decision making. There is particular interest in the assessment of patients with pulmonary congestion and extravascular lung water, although gaps remain in the evidence base underpinning this practice as a result of the limited evaluation of its inter-rater reliability and comparison with more established radiologic tests. Methods: 30 patients undergoing haemodialysis were prospectively recruited to an observational cohort study (NCT01949402). Patients underwent standardised LUS assessment before, during and after haemodialysis; their total LUS B-line score was generated, alongside a binary label of whether appearances were consistent with an interstitial syndrome. LUS video clips were recorded and independently scored by two blinded expert clinician sonographers. Low-dose non-contrast thoracic CT, pre- and post dialysis, was used as a “gold standard” radiologic comparison. Results: LUS detected a progressive reduction in B-line scores in almost all patients undergoing haemodialysis, correlating with the volume of fluid removed once individuals with no or minimal B-lines upon pre-dialysis examination were discounted. When comparing CT scans pre- and post dialysis, radiologic evidence of the change in fluid status was only identified in a single patient. Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate that LUS detects changes in extravascular lung water caused by changing fluid status during haemodialysis using a blinded outcome assessment and that LUS appears to be more sensitive than CT for this purpose. Further research is needed to better understand the role of LUS in this and similar patient populations, with the aim of improving clinical care and outcomes.

Original publication




Journal article





Publication Date





589 - 589