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Biomed Res Int. 2018 Jan 2;2018:8474839. doi: 10.1155/2018/8474839. eCollection 2018.

A Simplified Ultrasound Comet Tail Grading Scoring to Assess Pulmonary Congestion in Patients with Heart Failure.

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Department of Ultrasound, Shanxi Provincial People's Hospital, Taiyuan 030012, China.
Department of Echocardiography, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100020, China.


Ultrasound lung comets (ULCs) are a nonionizing bedside approach to assess extravascular lung water. We evaluated a protocol for grading ULC score to estimate pulmonary congestion in heart failure patients and investigated clinical and echocardiographic correlates of the ULC score. Ninety-three patients with congestive heart failure, admitted to the emergency department, underwent pulmonary ultrasound and echocardiography. A ULC score was obtained by summing the ULC scores of 7 zones of anterolateral chest scans. The results of ULC score were compared with echocardiographic results, the New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional classification, radiologic score, and N-terminal pro-b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). Positive linear correlations were found between the 7-zone ULC score and the following: E/e', systolic pulmonary artery pressure, severity of mitral regurgitation, left ventricular global longitudinal strain, NYHA functional classification, radiologic score, and NT-proBNP. However, there was no significant correlation between ULC score and left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricle diameter, left ventricular volume, or left atrial volume. A multivariate analysis identified the E/e', systolic pulmonary artery pressure, and radiologic score as the only independent variables associated with ULC score increase. The simplified 7-zone ULC score is a rapid and noninvasive method to assess lung congestion. Diastolic rather than systolic performance may be the most important determinant of the degree of lung congestion in patients with heart failure.

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