The Utility of Handheld Cardiac and Lung Ultrasound in Predicting Outcomes of Hospitalised Patients With COVID-19

Ziv Dadon, Nir Levi, Amir Orlev, Daniel Belman, Evan Avraham Alpert, Michael Glikson, Shmuel Gottlieb*, Adi Butnaru

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Strict isolation precautions limit formal echocardiography use in the setting of COVID-19 infection. Information on the importance of handheld focused ultrasound for cardiac evaluation in these patients is scarce. This study investigated the utility of a handheld echocardiography device in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in diagnosing cardiac pathologies and predicting the composite end point of in-hospital death, mechanical ventilation, shock, and acute decompensated heart failure. Methods: From April 28 through July 27, 2020, consecutive patients diagnosed with COVID-19 underwent evaluation with the use of handheld ultrasound (Vscan Extend with Dual Probe; GE Healthcare) within 48 hours of admission. The patients were divided into 2 groups: “normal” and “abnormal” echocardiogram, as defined by biventricular systolic dysfunction/enlargement or moderate/severe valvular regurgitation/stenosis. Results: Among 102 patients, 26 (25.5%) had abnormal echocardiograms. They were older with more comorbidities and more severe presenting symptoms compared with the group with normal echocardiograms. The prevalences of the composite outcome among low- and high-risk patients (oxygen saturation < 94%) were 3.1% and 27.1%, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that an abnormal echocardiogram at presentation was independently associated with the composite end point (odds ratio 6.19, 95% confidence interval 1.50-25.57; P = 0.012). Conclusions: An abnormal echocardiogram in COVID-19 infection settings is associated with a higher burden of medical comorbidities and independently predicts major adverse end points. Handheld focused echocardiography can be used as an important “rule-out” tool among high-risk patients with COVID-19 and should be integrated into their routine admission evaluation. However, its routine use among low-risk patients is not recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-346
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


FundersFunder number
Shaare Zedek Medical Center
Shaare Zedek Scientific18004712
GE Healthcare


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