, Volume 198, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Lung Ultrasound for the Diagnosis and Management of Acute Respiratory Failure

  • Marjan IslamEmail author
  • Matthew Levitus
  • Lewis Eisen
  • Ariel L. Shiloh
  • Daniel Fein


For critically ill patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF), lung ultrasound (LUS) has emerged as an indispensable tool to facilitate diagnosis and rapid therapeutic management. In ARF, there is now evidence to support the use of LUS to diagnose pneumothorax, acute respiratory distress syndrome, cardiogenic pulmonary edema, pneumonia, and acute pulmonary embolism. In addition, the utility of LUS has expanded in recent years to aid in the ongoing management of critically ill patients with ARF, providing guidance in volume status and fluid administration, titration of positive end-expiratory pressure, and ventilator liberation. The aims of this review are to examine the basic foundational concepts regarding the performance and interpretation of LUS, and to appraise the current literature supporting the use of this technique in the diagnosis and continued management of patients with ARF.


Lung ultrasound Point-of-care ultrasound Acute respiratory failure Pneumothorax Acute respiratory distress syndrome Pneumonia Pulmonary embolism Diaphragmatic dysfunction 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Albert Einstein College of MedicineMontefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA
  2. 2.Division of Critical Care Medicine, Albert Einstein College of MedicineMontefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA

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