- What diagnostic utility?
Under normal conditions, the air we breathe inside the lungs hinders the study of the lower pathways. In fact, the ultrasound emitted by the ultrasound probe does not cross the interface between the pleura that lines the lungs and the air that fills them. In contrast, lung or cardiopulmonary diseases alter the ability of the pleura lining the lungs to behave like a mirror and reflect ultrasound.
This means that an evolving bronchopneumonic process will consolidate the lung tissue by depriving it of a share of air making it penetrable by ultrasound (the broken mirror no longer reflects the image).
Therefore, it is possible to perform pleuro-pulmonary thoracic ultrasound for suspected pneumonia by drawing useful clinical information from it and monitoring its response to medical therapy.
The benefit of performing a chest echo is even greater in children, teens and young adults of childbearing age to avoid or limit their exposure to radiation needed to perform radiography or CT. Thanks to the absence of radiation, the chest echo is repeatable several times for clinical re-evaluation during medical therapy.
- What diagnoses does it allow?
- interstitial syndrome
- pleural effusion
- benign or malignant peripheral tumors of pleura and lung
- No preparation is required before the exam.