Lung ultrasound

What is lung ultrasound?

A chest or lung ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic test done to visualise the organs and structures within the chest, including the lungs, heart, aorta and trachea, and the pleural space. Ultrasound provides a quick visualisation of the organs, which in this case, may be useful to make a diagnosis for a respiratory condition or lung disorder.

Why is lung ultrasound necessary?

A chest or lung ultrasound may be used to view the lungs and the presence of excess fluid in the pleural space. Fluid may be an indication of a leak from a blood or lymph vessel or due to inflammation, infection or even cancer. Lung ultrasounds can also diagnose a rib fracture, oedema, lymphadenopathy, and soft tissue infections

How does an ultrasound work?

Ultrasound uses sound waves, which through a transducer, travel at different speeds through the tissue. These reflected sound waves are then returned to the transducer and converted by a computer into an image to visualise that particular area's internal structures and tissues.

What can be expected?

Lung ultrasound is no different. Your pulmonologist does it, focused on the chest and lungs. You will be asked to sit with your arms raised so that Dr Mothilal can move the transducer around your chest, front and back. You may be asked to move your position so that all areas can be viewed. He may also ask you to cough or sniff so that he can see the movement of the lungs while doing the ultrasound.

Schedule an appointment

Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital

Suite 1613, 16th floor, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Cnr DF Malan Street and Rua Bartholemeu Dias Plain, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001