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Curr Cardiol Rev. 2012 May;8(2):123-36.

Lung ultrasound in the management of acute decompensated heart failure.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Changi General Hospital, 2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889.


Once thought impracticable, lung ultrasound is now used in patients with a variety of pulmonary processes. This review seeks to describe the utility of lung ultrasound in the management of patients with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). A literature search was carried out on PubMed/Medline using search terms related to the topic. Over three thousand results were narrowed down via title and/or abstract review. Related articles were downloaded for full review. Case reports, letters, reviews and editorials were excluded. Lung ultrasonographic multiple B-lines are a good indicator of alveolar interstitial syndrome but are not specific for ADHF. The absence of multiple B-lines can be used to rule out ADHF as a causative etiology. In clinical scenarios where the assessment of acute dyspnea boils down to single or dichotomous pathologies, lung ultrasound can help rule in ADHF. For patients being treated for ADHF, lung ultrasound can also be used to monitor response to therapy. Lung ultrasound is an important adjunct in the management of patients with acute dyspnea or ADHF.

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