Vertical displacement of pleura: a new method for bronchospasm evaluation?
Martins, Sara Raquel
Nogue Bou, Ramon Maria
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Background: Lung ultrasonography has been increasingly recognized has a valuable diagnostic tool. In adult patients with asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and wheezing, LUS usually presents as an A/nude profile (normal profile, with sliding and A-lines, and without any abnormal findings) or at most reveals a decrease/absence of lung sliding. Therefore, until now simple point-of-care ultrasonography appeared to be unable to assess the severity of airflow limitation. Case presentation: We report the case of a woman presenting to the emergency department with an asthma exacerbation. Bedside ultrasound showed the usual A/normal profile, but also an associated vertical pleural displacement, probably secondary to hyperinflation and accessory muscle recruitment. We evaluated the described movement with M-mode and established a comparison index between end-inspiration and end-expiration, using the skin as reference. This index showed improvement and complete normalization during treatment. Conclusions: Pleural vertical displacement appears to be a sonographic alteration associated to bronchospasm and accessory muscle recruitment. It is easily identifiable and measurable on LUS, thus possibly representing a new method to evaluate bronchospasm and monitoring treatment response. Further research is needed to confirm or refute this finding.
Is part ofThe Ultrasound Journal, 2020, vol. 12, Article number 42
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