Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 1107–1117 | Cite as

Ultrasonography evaluation during the weaning process: the heart, the diaphragm, the pleura and the lung

  • P. MayoEmail author
  • G. Volpicelli
  • N. Lerolle
  • A. Schreiber
  • P. Doelken
  • A. Vieillard-Baron



On a regular basis, the intensivist encounters the patient who is difficult to wean from mechanical ventilatory support. The causes for failure to wean from mechanical ventilatory support are often multifactorial and involve a complex interplay between cardiac and pulmonary dysfunction. A potential application of point of care ultrasonography relates to its utility in the process of weaning the patient from mechanical ventilatory support.


This article reviews some applications of ultrasonography that may be relevant to the process of weaning from mechanical ventilatory support.


The authors have divided these applications of ultrasonography into four separate categories: the assessment of cardiac, diaphragmatic, and lung function; and the identification of pleural effusion; which can all be evaluated with ultrasonography during a dynamic process in which the intensivist is uniquely positioned to use ultrasonography at the point of care.


Ultrasonography may have useful application during the weaning process from mechanical ventilatory support.


Echocardiography Ultrasonography Weaning Cardiac function 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors do not declare any conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Mayo
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Volpicelli
    • 2
  • N. Lerolle
    • 3
  • A. Schreiber
    • 4
  • P. Doelken
    • 5
  • A. Vieillard-Baron
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.North Shore/LIJ Medical Center, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep MedicineHofstra NorthShore-LIJ School of MedicineHempsteadUSA
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineSan Luigi Gonzaga University HospitalOrbassanoItaly
  3. 3.Département de Réanimation Médicale et de Médecine HyperbareCHU Angers et UFR Santé Angers, Université AngersAngersFrance
  4. 4.Respiratory Intensive Care UnitSalvatore Maugeri FoundationPaviaItaly
  5. 5.Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineAlbany Medical CenterAlbanyUSA
  6. 6.Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Ambroise Paré, Service de RéanimationPôle Thorax-Maladies Cardiovasculaires-Abdomen-MétabolismeBoulogne-BillancourtFrance
  7. 7.INSERM U-1018CESP, Equipe 5 (EpReC, Epidémiologie Rénale et Cardiovasculaire)VillejuifFrance
  8. 8.Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin en YvelinesUFR des Sciences de la Santé Simone VeilSaint-Quentin en YvelinesFrance

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