Bedside lung ultrasound in the assessment of alveolar-interstitial syndrome

Am J Emerg Med. 2006 Oct;24(6):689-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2006.02.013.


Objectives: To assess the potential of bedside lung ultrasound to diagnose the radiologic alveolar-interstitial syndrome (AIS) in patients admitted to an emergency medicine unit and to estimate the occurrence of ultrasound pattern of diffuse and multiple comet tail artifacts in diseases involving lung interstitium.

Methods: The ultrasonic feature of multiple and diffuse comet tail artifacts B line was investigated in each of 300 consecutive patients within 48 hours after admission to our emergency medicine unit. Sonographic examination was performed at bedside in a supine position. Eight anterolateral ultrasound chest intercostal scans were obtained for each patient.

Results: The artifact showed a sensitivity of 85.7% and a specificity of 97.7% in recognition of radiologic AIS. Corresponding figures in the identification of a disease involving lung interstitium were 85.3% and 96.8%.

Conclusion: Comet tail artifact B line is a lung ultrasound sign reasonably accurate for diagnosing AIS at bedside.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Artifacts*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Pulmonary Edema / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Syndrome
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography