JOURNAL ARTICLE

Lung ultrasound in the evaluation of patients with pleuritic pain in the emergency department

Giovanni Volpicelli, Mauro Frascisco
Journal of Emergency Medicine 2008, 34 (2): 179-86
18024061
The evaluation of pleuritic pain in the emergency setting is a diagnostic challenge. Most patients are discharged from the Emergency Department (ED) with a diagnosis of chest wall pain not otherwise specified. It is important to rule out possible sources of acute pleuritic pain, like pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, lung cancer, and pneumothorax. Clinical examination, plain film radiography of the chest, and other routine investigations may be inadequate to make the correct diagnosis. In this setting, another bedside test to aid diagnosis would be useful. ED bedside lung ultrasound is a novel technique for the diagnosis of lung diseases. We report on 5 patients who presented to our ED complaining of pleuritic pain, few other symptoms, and negative routine investigations, in whom bedside lung ultrasound aided in making the diagnosis.

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