Thoraxsonography--Part II: Peripheral pulmonary consolidation

Ultrasound Med Biol. 1997;23(8):1141-53. doi: 10.1016/s0301-5629(97)00111-7.


In many cases of pulmonary diseases extending up to the pleura, ultrasound (US) helps to identify the etiology of the lesion. There are several sonomorphological criteria to differentiate peripheral pulmonary consolidations. Pneumonic infiltration shows a hypoechoic inhomogeneous echo texture, with multiple air inlets and bronchoaerograms. Fluid bronchogram indicates an obstructive pneumonitis. Pulmonary infarctions are visible in different stages as triangular pleural-based lesions in most cases of pulmonary embolism. The diagnostic accuracy of chest sonography in pulmonary embolism was 85%-90%. US-guided transthoracic biopsy shows a diagnostic yield of > 90% in malignancies and 50%-83% of benign lesions. The overall complication rate is very low: 1%-2% hemoptysis, 2%-4% pneumothoraces and 1%-2% requiring chest tube drainage. Color Doppler US can demonstrate the vascular patterns and may help in the understanding of underlying pathophysiology. Sonographic examinations of the upper and central mediastinum provide good results in 90-95% of cases. Some anatomical limitations of transcutaneous US can be circumvented by endoluminal US.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle / methods
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color