A patient with a history of COPD / severe emphysema presents with an exacerbation of their shortness of breath.
What does this ultrasound clip demonstrate?
This clip is taken with the linear ultrasound transducer placed directly over a lung bullae.
The appearance is essentially identical to that of a pneumothorax and is a potential major pitfall of ultrasound in this setting.
A CT scan of the chest is performed. Describe the CT and the implications in ultrasound scanning.
This patient has severe emphysema with bullae formation.
Whilst they are at risk of developing a pneumothorax, differentiating pneumothorax from bullous emphysema is often very difficult with ultrasound and alternate imaging is recommended.
A chest x-ray may clarify any doubt but CT is often required.
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