Ultrasound for Pleural Disease: Beyond a Pocket of Pleural Fluid
The evolution of pleural disease imaging modalities through the years has helped the scientific community understand and treat various disease states. Ultrasound (US) has been an image modality that has reigned superior to those used in the past such as chest X-ray and computed tomographic scan in terms of cost effectiveness, portability, and reduction in unwarranted radiation exposure to patients.
Here we provide a succinct review of US use in pleural disease including imaging techniques, identifying safe pleural space for access, and predicting pleural fluid volume and etiology along with specificities regarding trapped lung identification and pleural mass biopsy.
We believe bedside chest US is an adjunct to the physical exam adding superior diagnostic abilities. Further research is warranted in more specific aspects of sonographic use such as in fibrinolytic therapy management, evaluation for trapped lung, and the utility of specific modes like the color flow Doppler.
Pulmonologists, critical care specialists, translational researchers, and clinicians
At the conclusion of this activity, learners should be able to:
- Identify the capabilities of ultrasound in evaluating pleural effusion etiology.
- Describe the accuracy of chest ultrasound in comparison to other imaging modalities for the detection of pleural effusions.
- Interpret common ultrasound findings in pleural effusion and describe their clinical relevance.
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Article Authorship Disclosures (as submitted to the ATS prior to article publication date)
Kinner M. Patel, M.D. (Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook, NY, USA) reported no relevant financial relationships.
Kazi Ullah, M.D. (Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, USA) reported no relevant financial relationships.
Hassan Patail, M.D. (Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook, NY, USA) reported no relevant financial relationships.
Sahar Ahmad, M.D. (Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook, NY, USA) reported no relevant financial relationships.
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Alan M. Fein, M.D.
Podcast Editor, AnnalsATS
Dr. Fein reported that he has no financial relationships with ineligible companies.
Constantine Manthous, M.D.
Associate Editor, AnnalsATS
Dr. Manthous reported that he has no financial relationships with ineligible companies.
Gregory A. Schmidt, M.D.
Editorial Board, AnnalsATS
Dr. Schmidt reported payments for writing a textbook on critical care medicine (McGraw-Hill) and for writing contributions for UptoDate.
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