The Particulars: Chest ultrasound is often utilized in patients with clinically suspected pulmonary disease resulting from acute respiratory failure (ARF). Few analyses have explored the accuracy of this approach.

Data Breakdown: Study investigators compared chest ultrasound results with final diagnoses based on laboratory, chest radiography, and/or CT scans among patients with ARF. Chest ultrasound had strong sensitivity and specificity for detecting pulmonary edema, COPD, asthma, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and pneumothorax. Chest ultrasound results correlated with final diagnoses in 90% of all cases in the study.

Take Home Pearl: Chest ultrasound appears to be a simple, non-invasive tool that can rapidly and reliably diagnose health conditions at the bedside in critically ill respiratory patients with ARF.