Thoraco-pulmonary echography (Ultrasound scan)


A thoraco-pulmonary echography is one of the diagnostic tests included in the procedure concerning “the study of breath”.

This diagnostic test is scheduled together with other tests and always after a lung or ENT evaluation, in cases of dyspnea that may be caused by:

  • chronic diseases
  • pneumonia follow-ups (slowly resolving pneumonia)
  • follow-ups after a COVID 19 infection
  • obesity
  • heart problems

A thoraco-pulmonary echography is today an important tool in the diagnosis of pulmonary diseases, and has interesting applications in evaluating a patient with respiratory symptoms and in particular with dyspnea, and in differentiating between cardiogenic and respiratory dyspnea. In these cases a pulmonary echography should be considered an extension of a heart echography, in a comprehensive ultrasound evaluation of the chest.

One must remember that a pulmonary echography can provide determinant information in clinical pictures that are not easy to interpret. In particular, in recent emergency times, it has been used for monitoring the state of:

  • pleura exudation
  • pneumothorax
  • pneumonia

A chest echography is in any case surely indicated in those situations where it is preferable to avoid exposure to ionizing radiations, as in pregnancy and in the pediatric age. (The data obtainable with a thoraco-pulmonary echography can avoid a patient’s exposure to ionizing radiations. Irradiation with a thoracic CT scan corresponds to that of about 400 chest X-rays, but even a simple chest X-ray may, in carriers of a vulnerable genotype as the mutation BRCA1-BRCA2, double the risk of breast cancer).

The doctor performing this diagnostic test has received specific training.