Look at the lung: can chest ultrasonography be useful in pregnancy?
Background: This study aimed to evaluate the clinical value of chest ultrasound (US) in the detection, diagnosis and follow-up of pathologic processes of both peripheral lung parenchyma and pleural space in pregnant women.
Findings: Pregnant women admitted to Obstetric Pathology Hospital Department for respiratory diseases were enrolled. Chest US examination was performed when there was a respiratory disease highly suggestive of pneumonia and/or pleural effusion and chest X-ray (CXR) should have been obtained. Three chest US patterns were identified: lung consolidation (LC), pleural effusion (PE) and focal sonographic interstitial syndromes (SIS). When chest US pathologic signs were reported, one or more subsequent chest US examinations were performed to follow-up the patient until their complete resolution. Sixteen inpatients underwent 54 chest US evaluations. We identified: 9 LCs, 6 PEs and 11 SISs. Total number of CXRs was 7 (10 females avoided X-rays exposure and one underwent 2 CXR evaluations on the advice of Gynecologist). Chest US follow-up, during and after therapy, showed complete resolution of echographic patterns previously described.
Conclusions: Chest US evaluation during pregnancy is a useful diagnostic tool to detect and monitor respiratory diseases, avoiding excessive X-rays exposure.
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