Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 1434–1440

The "lung point": an ultrasound sign specific to pneumothorax

  • Daniel Lichtenstein
  • Gilbert Mezière
  • Philippe Biderman
  • Agnès Gepner
Original

DOI: 10.1007/s001340000627

Cite this article as:
Lichtenstein, D., Mezière, G., Biderman, P. et al. Intensive Care Med (2000) 26: 1434. doi:10.1007/s001340000627

Abstract

Objective: We studied an ultrasound sign, the fleeting appearance of a lung pattern (lung sliding or pathologic comet-tail artifacts) replacing a pneumothorax pattern (absent lung sliding plus exclusive horizontal lines) in a particular location of the chest wall. This sign was called the "lung point". Design: Prospective study. Setting: The medical ICU of a university-affiliated teaching hospital. Patients: The "lung point" was sought in 66 consecutive cases of proven pneumothorax analyzable using ultrasound – including 8 radio-occult cases diagnosed by means of CT – and in 233 consecutive hemithoraces studied by CT and free of pneumothorax – including 17 cases where pneumothorax was suspected. Results: The "lung point" was observed in 44 of 66 cases of pneumothorax (including 6 of 8 radio-occult cases) and in no case in the control group. The location of this sign roughly correlated with the radiological size of the pneumothorax. The "lung point" therefore had an overall sensitivity of 66% (75% in the case of radio-occult pneumothorax alone) and a specificity of 100%. Conclusion: The presence of a "lung point" allows positive diagnosis of pneumothorax at the bedside using ultrasound.

Pneumothorax Intensive care unit Ultrasound diagnosis Lung, ultrasound diagnosis Thorax, ultrasound diagnosis

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Lichtenstein
    • 1
  • Gilbert Mezière
    • 2
  • Philippe Biderman
    • 1
  • Agnès Gepner
    • 2
  1. 1.Service de Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Ambroise-Paré, 9 avenue Charles-de-Gaulle, 92100 Boulogne (Paris), FranceFrance
  2. 2.Service de Réanimation Polyvalente, Centre Hospitalier Général, Saint-Cloud (Paris), FranceFrance