Real-time chest ultrasonography: a comprehensive review for the pulmonologist

Chest. 2002 Nov;122(5):1759-73. doi: 10.1378/chest.122.5.1759.


This review discusses real-time pulmonary ultrasonography (US) for the practicing pulmonologist. US supplements chest radiography and chest CT scanning. Major advantages include bedside availability, absence of radiation, and guided aspiration of fluid-filled areas and solid tumors. Pulmonary vessels and vascular supply of consolidations may be visualized without contrast. US may help to diagnose conditions such as pneumothorax, hemothorax, pleural or pericardial effusion, pneumonia, and pulmonary embolism in the critically ill patient who is in need of bedside diagnostic testing. The technique of US, which is cost-effective compared to CT scanning and MRI, may be learned relatively easily by the pulmonologist.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy / methods
  • Computer Systems*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Mediastinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Pleural Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography / methods