Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 353–355 | Cite as

Intensive use of general ultrasound in the intensive care unit

Prospective study of 150 consecutive patients
  • D. Lichtenstein
  • O. Axler
Brief Reports



To assess the impact of systematic ultrasound (US) examination in patients admitted to the ICU


An observational study of 150 consecutive patients


A medical ICU of a University-affiliated hospital


All consecutively admitted patients were examined, but patients discharged within <48 h were excluded from the analysis


A systematic examination of the abdomen, pleural space, cervical and femoral vein, was performed at the bedside by the same investigator


Results of US examinations were compared to findings from CT-scan, surgery, endoscopic procedures, autopsy, or other diagnostic tests. The impact of U.S. findings on immediate patients management was evaluatedm


In 33 of 150 patients (22%), U.S. findings influenced the diagnosis, work up of the patients, and had a direct impact on the therapeutic plan. In 30/33 cases, confirmation of diagnosis was obtained by another diagnostic and/or therapeutic procedure


Routine US examination may alter therapeutic plans in up to 1/4 of critically ill patients admitted to the ICU. US examination should be liberally performed on such patients.

Key words

Ultrasonography Intensive care 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Lichtenstein
    • 1
  • O. Axler
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Intensive Care UnitHôpital Ambroise-ParéBoulogneFrance

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