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Minerva Anestesiol. 2017 Jul;83(7):720-727. doi: 10.23736/S0375-9393.17.11509-9. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Current adoption of lung ultrasound in Intensive Care Units: an Italian multi-center survey.

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AUSL Toscana Centro, Unit of Anesthesia and Resuscitation, San Giuseppe Hospital, Empoli, Florence, Italy.
Department of Anesthesia and Resuscitation, IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy.
GiViTI Coordinating Center, IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Centro di Ricerche Cliniche per le Malattie Rare Aldo e Cele Daccò, Ranica, Bergamo, Italy -



Lung ultrasound (LUS) is a useful tool for assessing lung status in critically ill patients, but is not widely applied in intensive care units (ICUs). The aim of this study was to investigate the use of LUS in Italian ICUs.


A questionnaire was distributed to 116 ICU representatives belonging to the Italian GiViTI network, participating in a national project on continuous quality of care assessment. The answers to the questionnaire were analyzed with the data collected in the course of said project.


87 ICUs took part in the study. LUS was performed in 94.3% of them, generally by an internal intensivist. The mean number of tests per bed per week was 0.97 (SD, 1.0). A standardized reporting format was present in only 11% of ICUs. LUS was generally used to investigate known or suspected diseases and as a screening tool in only 10%. The number of testes per bed per week was inversely correlated to the number of beds per physician (P<0.001) and to the provider performing the LUS (P<0.001), but not to other structural, organizational or performance data.


LUS is performed in the majority of ICUs and is generally used to investigate known or suspected diseases. Frequency of use appears to be low and related to selected organizational factors. There is generally no standardized format for reporting LUS findings.

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