Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713


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Diagnostic accuracy of the Bedside Lung Ultrasound in Emergency protocol for the diagnosis of acute respiratory failure in spontaneously breathing patients

Acurácia diagnóstica do protocolo de ultrassom pulmonar à beira do leito em situações de emergência para diagnóstico de insuficiência respiratória aguda em pacientes com ventilação espontânea

Felippe Leopoldo Dexheimer Neto, Juliana Mara Stormovski de Andrade, Ana Carolina Tabajara Raupp, Raquel da Silva Townsend, Fabiana Gabe Beltrami, Hélène Brisson, Qin Lu, Paulo de Tarso Roth Dalcin

J Bras Pneumol.2015;41(1):58-64

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: Bedside lung ultrasound (LUS) is a noninvasive, readily available imaging modality that can complement clinical evaluation. The Bedside Lung Ultrasound in Emergency (BLUE) protocol has demonstrated a high diagnostic accuracy in patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF). Recently, bedside LUS has been added to the medical training program of our ICU. The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy of LUS based on the BLUE protocol, when performed by physicians who are not ultrasound experts, to guide the diagnosis of ARF. Methods: Over a one-year period, all spontaneously breathing adult patients consecutively admitted to the ICU for ARF were prospectively included. After training, 4 non-ultrasound experts performed LUS within 20 minutes of patient admission. They were blinded to patient medical history. LUS diagnosis was compared with the final clinical diagnosis made by the ICU team before patients were discharged from the ICU (gold standard). Results: Thirty-seven patients were included in the analysis (mean age, 73.2  14.7 years; APACHE II, 19.2  7.3). LUS diagnosis had a good agreement with the final diagnosis in 84% of patients (overall kappa, 0.81). The most common etiologies for ARF were pneumonia (n = 17) and hemodynamic lung edema (n = 15). The sensitivity and specificity of LUS as measured against the final diagnosis were, respectively, 88% and 90% for pneumonia and 86% and 87% for hemodynamic lung edema. Conclusions: LUS based on the BLUE protocol was reproducible by physicians who are not ultrasound experts and accurate for the diagnosis of pneumonia and hemodynamic lung edema.


Keywords: Ultrasonography, interventional; Respiratory insufficiency; Intensive care units.


Lung ultrasound in critically ill patients: a new diagnostic tool

Ultrassom pulmonar em pacientes críticos: uma nova ferramenta diagnóstica

Felippe Leopoldo Dexheimer Neto, Paulo de Tarso Roth Dalcin, Cassiano Teixeira, Flávia Gabe Beltrami

J Bras Pneumol.2012;38(2):246-256

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

The evaluation of critically ill patients using lung ultrasound, even if performed by nonspecialists, has recently garnered greater interest. Because lung ultrasound is based on the fact that every acute illness reduces lung aeration, it can provide information that complements the physical examination and clinical impression, the main advantage being that it is a bedside tool. The objective of this review was to evaluate the clinical applications of lung ultrasound by searching the PubMed and the Brazilian Virtual Library of Health databases. We used the following search terms (in Portuguese and English): ultrasound; lung; and critical care. In addition to the most relevant articles, we also reviewed specialized textbooks. The data show that lung ultrasound is useful in the differential diagnosis of pulmonary infiltrates, having good accuracy in identifying consolidations and interstitial syndrome. In addition, lung ultrasound has been widely used in the evaluation and treatment of pleural effusions, as well as in the identification of pneumothorax. This technique can also be useful in the immediate evaluation of patients with dyspnea or acute respiratory failure. Other described applications include monitoring treatment response and increasing the safety of invasive procedures. Although specific criteria regarding training and certification are still lacking, lung ultrasound is a fast, inexpensive, and widely available tool. This technique should progressively come to be more widely incorporated into the care of critically ill patients.


Keywords: Ultrasonography; Lung; Critical care; Intensive care units.




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