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Lung ultrasound 

Lung ultrasound
Chapter:
Lung ultrasound
Author(s):

Luna Gargani

and Marcelo-Haertel Miglioranza

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198726012.003.0016
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date: 08 August 2020

The lung is a relatively new site for the application of ultrasound. Beyond the more established assessment of pleural effusion, this organ has been traditionally considered off limits for sonographic investigation, since air is a well-known foe of the ultrasound beam. However, in recent years it has been shown that this apparent physical limitation can be overcome when the air content decreases, as happens in a diseased pulmonary parenchyma. The most useful lung ultrasound sign for cardiologists is the presence of B-lines, the sonographic hallmark of pulmonary interstitial syndrome, including interstitial pulmonary oedema. Bilateral multiple B-lines are present in patients with pulmonary congestion and may help assess and semiquantify the extent of extravascular lung water in patients with heart failure. This sign is low cost, easy to perform, can be repeated at bedside, and does not employ ionizing radiation. Lung ultrasound is also useful for detecting other pulmonary conditions such as pneumothorax, and lung consolidations such as pneumonia or pulmonary infarction.

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