Send to

Choose Destination
JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Mar 1;2(3):e190703. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.0703.

Diagnostic Accuracy of Point-of-Care Lung Ultrasonography and Chest Radiography in Adults With Symptoms Suggestive of Acute Decompensated Heart Failure: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Author information

Division of Hospital Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora.
Division of Cardiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora.
Division of Cardiology, VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, Aurora.
Department of Radiology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science, Aurora, Colorado.
Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center, Aurora, Colorado.
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Division of General and Hospital Medicine, The University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio, San Antonio.
Section of Hospital Medicine, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, San Antonio.
Institute of Cardiology/University Foundation of Cardiology, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Health Sciences Library, University of Colorado, Aurora.
Division of Hospital Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.



Standard tools used to diagnose pulmonary edema in acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), including chest radiography (CXR), lack adequate sensitivity, which may delay appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Point-of-care lung ultrasonography (LUS) may be more accurate than CXR, but no meta-analysis of studies directly comparing the 2 tools was previously available.


To compare the accuracy of LUS with the accuracy of CXR in the diagnosis of cardiogenic pulmonary edema in adult patients presenting with dyspnea.

Data Sources:

A comprehensive search of MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases and the gray literature was performed in May 2018. No language or year limits were applied.

Study Selection:

Study inclusion criteria were a prospective adult cohort of patients presenting to any clinical setting with dyspnea who underwent both LUS and CXR on initial assessment with imaging results compared with a reference standard ADHF diagnosis by a clinical expert after either a medical record review or a combination of echocardiography findings and brain-type natriuretic peptide criteria. Two reviewers independently assessed the studies for inclusion criteria, and disagreements were resolved with discussion.

Data Extraction and Synthesis:

Reporting adhered to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines. Two authors independently extracted data and assessed the risk of bias using a customized QUADAS-2 tool. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of LUS and CXR were determined using a hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic approach.

Main Outcomes and Measures:

The comparative accuracy of LUS and CXR in diagnosing ADHF as measured by the differences between the 2 modalities in pooled sensitivity and specificity.


The literature search yielded 1377 nonduplicate titles that were screened, of which 43 articles (3.1%) underwent full-text review. Six studies met the inclusion criteria, representing a total of 1827 patients. Pooled estimates for LUS were 0.88 (95% Cl, 0.75-0.95) for sensitivity and 0.90 (95% Cl, 0.88-0.92) for specificity. Pooled estimates for CXR were 0.73 (95% CI, 0.70-0.76) for sensitivity and 0.90 (95% CI, 0.75-0.97) for specificity. The relative sensitivity ratio of LUS, compared with CXR, was 1.2 (95% CI, 1.08-1.34; Pā€‰<ā€‰.001), but no difference was found in specificity between tests (relative specificity ratio, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.90-1.11; Pā€‰=ā€‰.96).

Conclusions and Relevance:

The findings suggest that LUS is more sensitive than CXR in detecting pulmonary edema in ADHF; LUS should be considered as an adjunct imaging modality in the evaluation of patients with dyspnea at risk of ADHF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center