The air bronchogram: sonographic demonstration

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1986 Sep;147(3):593-5. doi: 10.2214/ajr.147.3.593.


A new sonographic pattern of pulmonary consolidation associated with air-filled bronchi in children is presented. The consolidated area of the lung is usually hypoechoic, poorly defined, and wedge-shaped. The air-filled bronchi produce linear, high-amplitude branching echoes that converge toward the lung root. Posterior acoustic shadowing and reverberation artifacts are seen accompanying the proximal large bronchi. A comparative study is presented in which 30 pediatric patients with clinical and radiographic evidence of pneumonia were sonographically evaluated. Twenty-eight patients were successfully examined with sonography. The cases were divided into three groups: (1) consolidated lung without pleural effusion (19 patients); (2) consolidated lung with small pleural effusion (five patients); and (3) consolidated lung with partial compression atelectasis due to large pleural effusion (four patients).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Air
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lung / pathology
  • Pleural Effusion / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Atelectasis / diagnosis
  • Ultrasonography / methods*