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Crit Care. 2017 Dec 28;21(1):325. doi: 10.1186/s13054-017-1897-5.

Thoracic ultrasound for pleural effusion in the intensive care unit: a narrative review from diagnosis to treatment.

Author information

1
Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, University of Pisa, Via Paradisa 2, 56124, Pisa, Italy. etruscabrogi@gmail.com.
2
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council, Pisa, Italy.
3
Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.
4
Department of Medicine, University of Udine, Udine, Italy.
5
Department of Neurosciences, Reproductive and Odontostomatological Sciences, University of Naples "Federico II", Naples, Italy.
6
Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, University of Pisa, Via Paradisa 2, 56124, Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

Pleural effusion (PLEFF), mostly caused by volume overload, congestive heart failure, and pleuropulmonary infection, is a common condition in critical care patients. Thoracic ultrasound (TUS) helps clinicians not only to visualize pleural effusion, but also to distinguish between the different types. Furthermore, TUS is essential during thoracentesis and chest tube drainage as it increases safety and decreases life-threatening complications. It is crucial not only during needle or tube drainage insertion, but also to monitor the volume of the drained PLEFF. Moreover, TUS can help diagnose co-existing lung diseases, often with a higher specificity and sensitivity than chest radiography and without the need for X-ray exposure. We review data regarding the diagnosis and management of pleural effusion, paying particular attention to the impact of ultrasound. Technical data concerning thoracentesis and chest tube drainage are also provided.

KEYWORDS:

Catheters; Critical care; Lung; Pleural effusion; Ultrasonography

PMID:
29282107
PMCID:
PMC5745967
DOI:
10.1186/s13054-017-1897-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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