Original Article

Strong correlation between lung ultrasound and chest computerized tomography imaging for the detection of acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome in rats

Huan Ma, Daozheng Huang, Liheng Guo, Quanfu Chen, Wenzhao Zhong, Qingshan Geng, Minzhou Zhang


Background: Lung ultrasound (LUS) is a clinical imaging technique for diagnosing acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In humans and several large animals, LUS demonstrates similar specificity and sensitivity to computerized tomography (CT) scanning. Current study evaluated the degree of agreement between LUS and CT imaging in characterizing ALI/ARDS in rats.
Methods: Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats were imaged by LUS before randomization into three groups to receive intratracheal saline, 3 or 6 mg/kg LPS respectively (n=10). LUS and CT imaging was conducted 2 hours after instillation. Cross table analyses and kappa statistics were used to determine agreement levels between LUS and CT assessments of lung condition.
Results: Before instillation, rats presented with a largely A-pattern in LUS images, however, a significantly increase B-lines were observed in all groups after instillation and showed dose response to LPS or to saline. One rat treated with 6 mg/kg lipopolysaccharide (LPS) presented with lung consolidation. The agreement between the LUS and the CT in detecting the main characteristics of ALI/ARDS in rat was strong (r=0.758, P<0.01, k=0.737).
Conclusions: In conclusion, LUS detects ALI/ARDS with high agreement with micro PET/CT scanning in a rat model, suggesting that LUS represents a positive refinement in rat ALI/ARDS disease models.

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