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Crit Ultrasound J. 2012 Aug 24;4(1):19. doi: 10.1186/2036-7902-4-19.

The V-line: a sonographic aid for the confirmation of pleural fluid.

Author information

  • 1Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick, 100 Tucker Park Road, Saint John, NB, E2L 4L5, Canada. Paul.Atkinson@dal.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ultrasound is being used increasingly to diagnose pathological free fluid accumulation at the bedside. In addition to the detection of peritoneal and pericardial fluid, point-of-care ultrasound allows rapid bedside diagnosis of pleural fluid.

FINDINGS:

In this short report, we describe the sonographic observation of the vertebral or 'V-line' to help confirm the presence of pleural fluid in the supine patient. The V-line sign is a result of the fluid acting as an acoustic window to enable visualization of vertebral bodies and posterior thoracic wall, thus confirming the presence of pleural fluid.

CONCLUSIONS:

The V-line is a useful sonographic sign to aid the diagnosis of pleural free fluid.

PMID:
22920298
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3480906
Free PMC Article
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