Ultrasound-guided interventional radiology in critical care

Savvas Nicolaou, Aaron Talsky, Khalid Khashoggi, Vicnays Venu
Critical Care Medicine 2007, 35 (5 Suppl): S186-97
Ultrasound-guided intervention is becoming an increasingly popular and valuable tool in the critical care setting. In general, image-guided procedures can expedite wait times and increase the accuracy, safety, and efficacy of many procedures commonly performed within intensive care units. In the intensive care unit setting, ultrasound has particular advantages over other imaging modalities such as computed tomography and fluoroscopy, including real-time visualization, portability permitting bedside procedures, and reduced exposure to nephrotoxic contrast agents. We review the technical and procedural aspects of a number of ultrasound-guided interventions appropriate for critical care patients. These include central venous catheter deployment, thoracentesis, paracentesis, and drainage of a wide variety of abscesses, and percutaneous nephrostomy, percutaneous cholecystectomy, and inferior vena cava filter placement. Although we believe ultrasound is significantly underutilized in critical care today, we anticipate that with the improvement of ultrasound technology and the innovation of new ultrasound-guided procedures, the role of ultrasound in the intensive care unit will continue to expand, with bedside ultrasound-guided interventions increasingly becoming the norm.

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