Ultrasound Fissure Observation: Assessment of Lung by Pleural-Hub Affiliates

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Abstract

Background

Lung ultrasound examination is becoming an even more important part of pulmonologists’ clinical routine. As indicated in the literature, the coordinates of any findings on lung parenchyma are based on surface landmarks or conventional quadrants. In our experience we have noticed that lung fissures are clearly detectable as interruptions of the pleural line, but this has never been investigated previously. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether lung fissures are detectable under normal conditions in routine clinical practice.

Methods

Ten operators were enrolled from Pleural-Hub, a scientific discussion group. After compiling a prestudy survey to investigate whether they had observed fissures previously, they were asked to note if the following fissures were detectable: posterior right (PR) and left (PL), lateral right (LR) and left (LL), anterior right (AR), and anterolateral left (AL). Enrollment was competitive, aiming to reach 100 case subjects.

Results

We found that general fissure detection was 61.3%, in particular: PR, 59%; LR, 75%; AR, 69%; PL, 45%; LL, 64%; AL, 56%. Single operators yielded different detection rates ranging from 90% to 25%, showing strong operator dependency. Before being made aware of general results operators indicated operator’s skill and rib shadow artifacts as the principal factors affecting fissure detection.

Conclusions

Lung fissures may be detected with ultrasound once adequate training is provided. This may allow the clinician a more precise anatomical delineation of pathology identified by lung ultrasound.

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