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Ultrasound. 2017 Nov;25(4):200-212. doi: 10.1177/1742271X17721264. Epub 2017 Aug 3.

The usefulness of thoracic ultrasonography in diagnosis and staging of bronchogenic carcinoma.

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Alzahraa University Hospital, Cairo, Egypt.



To evaluate (1) the usefulness of thoracic ultrasound in diagnosis and staging of bronchogenic carcinoma by comparing lesion detectability between thoracic- ultrasound and computed tomography and (2) the outcome of thoracic-ultrasound-guided biopsy in diagnosing bronchogenic carcinoma.


We conducted a cross-sectional study on 53 patients of confirmed bronchogenic carcinoma. All patients had been investigated by thoracic-ultrasound and chest-computed tomography; data regarding the presence of mass (its size, necrosis), lymph nodes invasion, peritumoural atelectasis, consolidations, pleural effusion, chest wall invasion, and paralysis of the diaphragm were recorded. Thoracic-ultrasound-guided biopsy was done for 41 patients.


Thoracic-ultrasound had significantly higher detection rate of peritumoural atelectasis, paralysis of the diaphragm, and supraclavicular lymph nodes invasion, while it has significantly lower detection rate of pulmonary masses and mediastinal lymph nodes invasion than computed tomography. It has nonsignificant higher detection rate of pleural effusion, consolidations, chest wall invasion and necrosis within mass than computed tomography. Thoracic-ultrasound detects static air-bronchogram and/or fluid bronchogram in 53.3% of bronchogenic carcinoma-associated consolidation. Thoracic-ultrasound-guided biopsy revealed positive yield in 78.0% (32/41) of patients. All patients with negative thoracic-ultrasound biopsy had mass size >5 cm with necrosis within the mass. Self-limited complications occurred in 26.8% after thoracic-ultrasound-guided biopsy (haemoptysis 22.0%, pneumothorax 2.4% and subcutaneous emphysema 2.4%).


Thoracic-ultrasound has a significant complementary role to computed tomography in diagnosis and staging of bronchogenic carcinoma. Thoracic-ultrasound-guided biopsy revealed good positive yield (78%), its yield was negatively affected by mass size and necrosis. It is a simple, practical and accurate procedure without significant patients' risks.


Transthoracic ultrasound; bronchogenic carcinoma; fluid bronchogram; static air-bronchogram

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