Take a look to our narrative review for the Blue Journal on lung ultrasound in critical care!
is increasingly used at the bedside to integrate the clinical assessment of the critically ill; in particular, lungultrasound
greatly developed in the last decade. This review describes basic lung ultrasound
signs and focuses on their applications in critical care. Lung
semiotic is made both of artifacts (derived by air/tissue interface) and real images (i.e. effusions and consolidations), both providing significant information to identify the main acute respiratory disorders. Lung ultrasound
signs, either alone or combined to other point-of-care ultrasound
techniques, are helpful in the diagnostic
approach to patients with acute respiratory failure, circulatory shock or cardiac arrest. Moreover, a semi-quantification of lung
aeration can be performed at the bedside and used in mechanically ventilated patients to guide PEEP setting, to assess the efficacy of treatments, to monitor the evolution of the respiratory disorder, and to help the weaning process. Finally, lung ultrasound
can be used for early detection and management of respiratory complications under mechanical ventilation, such as pneumothorax, ventilator-associated pneumonia, atelectasis and pleural effusions. In conclusion, lung ultrasound
is a useful diagnostic
and monitoring tool that might become in the next future part of the basic knowledge of physicians taking care of the critically ill patient.