Ultrasound in the evaluation of interstitial pneumonia

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Abstract

Background: The diagnostic value of thoracic ultrasonography (US) has recently increased. Skilled sonographers with experience in pulmonary medicine have demonstrated the existence of US signs of chest pathology. Purpose: To detect US findings associated with infectious interstitial pneumonia that can be used to supplement other diagnostic tools. Materials and methods: Over a period of 5 years (2001-2006), 55 patients were referred to our ultrasonography units for evaluation of probable viral or viral-like infections of the respiratory tract. Each patient was subjected to a work-up that included clinical examination, blood tests, pulmonary function tests, bronchoscopy, chest radiographs, high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT), and thoracic US, which was performed under blinded conditions. Results: Based on the findings that emerged from the work-up described above, all 55 patients were diagnosed with interstitial pneumonia. Evaluation of the US scans for the signs of interstitial lung disease described by Lichtenstein revealed "comet-tail" artifacts in the anterolateral lung fields in 31 (56.36%) patients and mixed patterns consisting in increased density associated with ring-down artifacts in 24 (46.64%). Pleural involvement was also observed in 34 cases (61.82%). Conclusions: Thoracic US appears to be a useful adjunct to clinical, laboratory and radiological studies in patients suspected of having infectious interstitial pneumonia. © 2007 Elsevier Masson Srl. All rights reserved.

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Lo Giudice, V., Bruni, A., Corcioni, E., & Corcioni, B. (2008). Ultrasound in the evaluation of interstitial pneumonia. Journal of Ultrasound, 11(1), 30–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jus.2007.10.002

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