Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is one of the most common causes of neonatal respiratory failure and mortality. The risk of developing RDS decreases with both increasing gestational age and birth weight.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the value of lung ultrasound in the diagnosis of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in newborn infants.
Materials and Methods:
From March 2012 to May 2013, 100 newborn infants were divided into two groups: RDS group (50 cases) and control group (50 cases). According to the findings of chest x-ray, there were 10 cases of grade II RDS, 15 grade III cases, and 25 grade IV cases in RDS group. Lung ultrasound was performed at bedside by a single expert. The ultrasound indexes observed in this study included pleural line, A-line, B-line, lung consolidation, air bronchograms, bilateral white lung, interstitial syndrome, lung sliding, lung pulse etc.
In all of the infants with RDS, lung ultrasound consistently showed generalized consolidation with air bronchograms, bilateral white lung or alveolar-interstitial syndrome, pleural line abnormalities, A-line disappearance, pleural effusion, lung pulse, etc. The simultaneous demonstration of lung consolidation, pleural line abnormalities and bilateral white lung, or lung consolidation, pleural line abnormalities and A-line disappearance co-exists with a sensitivity and specificity of 100%. Besides, the sensitivity was 80% and specificity 100% of lung pulse for the diagnosis of neonatal RDS.
This study indicates that using an ultrasound to diagnose neonatal RDS is accurate and reliable too. A lung ultrasound has many advantages over other techniques. Ultrasound is non-ionizing, low-cost, easy to operate, and can be performed at bedside, making this technique ideal for use in NICU.