An analysis published in CHEST looked at how lung ultrasound B-lines can show lung parenchyma changes in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).

Researchers conducted a prospective study in consecutive patients with SSc who were enrolled at 3 rheumatology departments in Italy and were evaluated during their routine office visits. Recognizing that a high percentage of patients with SSc go on to develop interstitial lung disease (ILD) and that the evaluation of lung ultrasound B-lines can help assess ILD, the investigators sought to establish the prognostic value of B-lines in this patient population. The primary study outcome was the combination of development of ILD or worsening of preexisting ILD.

Criteria for study inclusion were as follows: prior diagnosis of SSc, based on American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism guidelines, independent from disease stage and organ involvement; age >18 years; informed consent; and the availability for follow-up. All participants underwent a comprehensive lung ultrasound examination on the anterolateral and posterior chest, for an overall total of 58 scanning sites. The researchers recorded all of the available clinical, functional, and imaging data. All of the participants were followed up after enrollment to determine the prognostic role played by lung ultrasound.

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