Resolution of sonographic B-lines as a measure of pulmonary decongestion in acute heart failure

Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Jun;34(6):1129-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2016.03.043. Epub 2016 Mar 19.


Objective noninvasive measures of dyspnea in patients with acute heart failure are lacking. In this review, we describe lung ultrasound as a tool to estimate the degree of pulmonary congestion in patients presenting with acute heart failure and to monitor therapeutic efficacy. Serial semiquantitative measures of sonographic B-lines in acute heart failure patients can be converted to pulmonary edema scores obtained at admission and hospital discharge. These scores provide prognostic information for short-term clinical outcomes. Lung ultrasound has the potential to measure changes in pulmonary edema during acute heart failure management and improve risk stratification.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Dyspnea / diagnostic imaging
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pulmonary Edema / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pulmonary Edema / etiology*
  • Ultrasonography