Lung Ultrasound in Pediatrics and Neonatology: An Update

Researchers are now exploring the potential role of ultrasound for diagnosing pulmonary diseases because, traditionally, lungs have been considered unsuitable for ultrasonography for the high presence of air and thoracic cage that prevent a precise evaluation of the organ. 

The peculiar anatomy of the pediatric chest favors using lung ultrasound (LUS) for diagnosing respiratory conditions by interpreting artifacts yielded at the pleural surface, correlating them to disease-specific patterns.

Recent studies demonstrate that LUS can be a reasonable alternative to chest X-rays for diagnosing pulmonary diseases, particularly in children, to avoid undue exposure to ionizing radiations. Current literature demonstrates the usefulness of LUS and its potential to emerge as a fundamental tool for the whole spectrum of lung pathologies to guide diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. A recent review by Ammirabile A. et al. describes the most common pediatric pathologies' normal and abnormal findings during LUS.

Ammirabile A, Buonsenso D, Di Mauro A. Lung Ultrasound in Pediatrics and Neonatology: An Update. Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Aug 7;9(8):1015. DOI: 10.3390/healthcare9081015. PMID: 34442152; PMCID: PMC8391473.

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