Show Summary Details
Page of

Echocardiography and thoracic ultrasound 

Echocardiography and thoracic ultrasound
Echocardiography and thoracic ultrasound

Frank A Flachskampf

, Pavlos Myrianthefs

, Ruxandra Beyer

, and Pavlos M. Myrianthefs


February 22, 2018: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.


Updates to references

Updated on 27 July 2017. The previous version of this content can be found here.
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 14 July 2020

For the emergency management of cardiovascular disorders, echocardiography and thoracic ultrasound are indispensable imaging techniques at the bedside. In the intensive care environment, crucial questions, such as left and right ventricular function, valvular heart disease, volume status, aortic disease, cardiac infection, pleural effusion, pulmonary oedema, pneumothorax, and many others, can be sufficiently and reliably answered by using these techniques; in fact, it is almost impossible to manage patients with acute severe haemodynamic impairment reasonably well without a prompt and repeated access to echocardiography. This is confirmed by the prominent place that echocardiography has in the guideline-based diagnosis and treatment of all major cardiovascular emergencies, from acute heart failure to the acute coronary syndrome to pulmonary embolism, etc. Moreover, it is the ideal tool to follow the patient, since repeat examinations pose no risk to the patient and demand relatively little logistics and resources. To benefit from the wealth of information that echocardiography and thoracic ultrasound can provide, modern equipment (including a transoesophageal probe) and systematic training of echocardiographers must be ensured. The availability of prompt and experienced echocardiography and thoracic ultrasound services at all times is fundamental for sound contemporary cardiovascular intensive care.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.