Aim Evaluation of the correlation between the pulmonary ultrasound findings and the severity of the respiratory distress, the need for mechanical ventilation and the respiratory outcome of the case.
Material and methods Pulmonary ultrasounds were performed in 50 neonates (mean gestational age 38.4weeks; mean birth weight 3100g (±450g). The first ultrasound was performed at 3 h of life; the second at 24 h The ultrasound appearance was clasified: white lung (type 1); transition lung (type 2); normal (type 3). There were noted: the appearance and severity of the respiratory distress, the need for mechanical ventilation, the evolution of the pulmonary ultrasound and of the patient.
Results The pulmonary ultrasound appearance of white lung (type 1) was present in 6 cases, 4 of them needed mechanical ventilation, 2 needed CPAP. Type 2 appearance was present in 44 patients at the first ultrasound and in 15 at the second examination, being replaced by type 3 appearance in 29 patients at 24 h of age. In the case of the 4 patients that were ventilated, the type 1 appearance evoluated at type 2 after 48 h of ventilation and at type 3 by 72 h. They were extubated successfully at a mean age of 75 h.
Conclusions Type 1 pulmonary ultrasound appearance correlated with the presence of the respiratory distress and the need for mechanical ventilation. The pulmonary ultrasound apeearance improved with the favourable evolution of the patient and the normal ultrasound anticipated the extubation. Pulmonary ultrasound could be used as an aid in the evaluation of the respiratory distress of the term and near term neonates.