Rationale: Lung ultrasound (LUS) is a promising tool for diagnosis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), but adequately sized studies with external validation are lacking. Objectives: To develop and validate a data-driven LUS score for diagnosis of ARDS and compare its performance with that of chest radiography (CXR). Methods: This multicenter prospective observational study included invasively ventilated ICU patients who were divided into a derivation cohort and a validation cohort. Three raters scored ARDS according to the Berlin criteria, resulting in a classification of "certain no ARDS," or "certain ARDS" when experts agreed or "uncertain ARDS" when evaluations conflicted. Uncertain cases were classified in a consensus meeting. Results of a 12-region LUS exam were used in a logistic regression model to develop the LUS-ARDS score. Measurements and Main Results: Three hundred twenty-four (16% certain ARDS) and 129 (34% certain ARDS) patients were included in the derivation cohort and the validation cohort, respectively. With an ARDS diagnosis by the expert panel as the reference test, the LUS-ARDS score, including the left and right LUS aeration scores and anterolateral pleural line abnormalities, had an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.85-0.95) in certain patients of the derivation cohort and 0.80 (95% CI, 0.72-0.87) in all patients of the validation cohort. Within patients who had imaging-gold standard chest computed tomography available, diagnostic accuracy of eight independent CXR readers followed the ROC curve of the LUS-ARDS score. Conclusions: The LUS-ARDS score can be used to accurately diagnose ARDS also after external validation. The LUS-ARDS score may be a useful adjunct to a diagnosis of ARDS after further validation, as it showed performance comparable with that of the current practice with experienced CXR readers but more objectifiable diagnostic accuracy at each cutoff.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1591-1601
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number12
Early online date15 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023


  • ARDS
  • LUS
  • diagnosis
  • intensive care

Cite this