Validating a bovine model for lung ultrasound of bronchiolitis

Paul Walsh, Francisco R.Carvallo Chaigneau, Maxim Lebedev, Victoria Mutua, Heather McEligot, Samuel H.F. Lam, Benjamin Hwang, Heejung Bang, Laurel J. Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Bronchiolitis is a very common acute lung disease in infants caused commonly by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Point-of-care lung ultrasound is increasingly used in clinical care but proof that ultrasound reflects histological disease is lacking. Bovine calves are a good model for RSV bronchiolitis. We answered the following two questions: (1) does point-of-care lung ultrasound reflect lung pathology at the histological level in a bovine calf model of bronchiolitis? and (2) are point-of-care lung ultrasound images in human infants similar to those obtained in calves? Methods: We experimentally infected 24 five to six-week-old bovine calves with RSV and compared six window lung ultrasound with lung histology10 days after inoculation. The calves were treated with antivirals and antipyretics leading to variable severity of illness. We used canonical discriminant analysis to determine if abnormal lung ultrasound findings reflected different histological findings. We compared the ultrasounds obtained from the calves with ultrasounds obtained from 10 human infants who were diagnosed clinically with bronchiolitis. Results: Canonical discriminant analysis generally demonstrated good class separation based on the maximal severity of ultrasound finding in each acoustic window. Lung ultrasound performed poorly at detecting bronchopneumonia. Bovine ultrasounds looked similar to human infant lung ultrasounds. Conclusion: Point-of-care lung ultrasound abnormalities reflect lung pathology at the histological level in a bovine calf model of bronchiolitis. Point-of-care lung ultrasound images in human infants are similar to those obtained in calves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Ultrasound
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bronchiolitis
  • Histology
  • Lung ultrasound
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Translational science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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