Lung ultrasound in critically ill patients: a new diagnostic tool


Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia, v. 38, n. 2, p. 246-256, 2012.

Motivo: Produção Corpo Clínico

Setor HMV: CTI Adulto

Área da saúde: Medicina - Medicina Intensiva, Medicina - Pneumologia

Resumo: The evaluation of critically ill patients using lung ultrasound, even if performed by nonspecialists, has recently garnered greater interest. Because lung ultrasound is based on the fact that every acute illness reduces lung aeration, it can provide information that complements the physical examination and clinical impression, the main advantage being that it is a bedside tool. The objective of this review was to evaluate the clinical applications of lung ultrasound by searching the PubMed and the Brazilian Virtual Library of Health databases. We used the following search terms (in Portuguese and English): ultrasound; lung; and critical care. In addition to the most relevant articles, we also reviewed specialized textbooks. The data show that lung ultrasound is useful in the differential diagnosis of pulmonary infiltrates, having good accuracy in identifying consolidations and interstitial syndrome. In addition, lung ultrasound has been widely used in the evaluation and treatment of pleural effusions, as well as in the identification of pneumothorax. This technique can also be useful in the immediate evaluation of patients with dyspnea or acute respiratory failure. Other described applications include monitoring treatment response and increasing the safety of invasive procedures. Although specific criteria regarding training and certification are still lacking, lung ultrasound is a fast, inexpensive, and widely available tool. This technique should progressively come to be more widely incorporated into the care of critically ill patients.

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