Point-of-Care Ultrasound for the Pediatric Hospitalist's Practice

Hosp Pediatr. 2019 Sep;9(9):707-718. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2018-0118. Epub 2019 Aug 12.


Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has the potential to provide real-time valuable information that could alter diagnosis, treatment, and management practices in pediatric hospital medicine. We review the existing pediatric POCUS literature to identify potential clinical applications within the scope of pediatric hospital medicine. Diagnostic point-of-care applications most relevant to the pediatric hospitalist include lung ultrasound for pneumothorax, pleural effusion, pneumonia, and bronchiolitis; cardiac ultrasound for global cardiac function and hydration status; renal or bladder ultrasound for nephrolithiasis, hydronephrosis, and bladder volumes; soft tissue ultrasound for differentiating cellulitis from abscess; and procedural-guidance applications, including line placement, lumbar puncture, and abscess incision and drainage. We discuss POCUS applications with reviews of major pathologic findings, research gaps, the integration of POCUS into practice, and barriers to implementation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Hospitalists*
  • Hospitals, Pediatric*
  • Humans
  • Point-of-Care Testing*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*