Postoperative chest ultrasound findings and effectiveness after thoracic surgery: A pilot study

Marco Chiappetta*, Elisa Meacci, Alfredo Cesario, Andrea Smargiassi, Riccardo Inchingolo, Leonardo Petracca Ciavarella, Stefania Lopatriello, Andrea Contegiacomo, Maria Teresa Congedo, Stefano Margaritora

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to analyze the information from post-operative chest ultrasound (CU) to evaluate the possibility to use this method instead of chest X-ray (CXR) after thoracic surgery. Patients who underwent thoracic surgery were evaluated with CU blinded to CXR after surgery, deciding if it was useful or CU was exhaustive. Twenty-four patients were enrolled prospectively. The CU allowed a further discrimination of the lung abnormalities, discriminating between atelectasis, infections or hematoma. CXR was required in only 5 cases due to the presence of massive subcutaneous emphysema or absence of lung point. In the remaining 19 cases, CU was considered exhaustive and effective. In particular, CU was considered exhaustive in 67% of cases after open surgery and in 85% of cases after video-assisted thoracic surgery. In conclusion, CU appears to be effective in post-operative management after thoracic surgery and it can increase the diagnostic accuracy reducing any unnecessary X-ray exposure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1960-1967
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Biophysics
  • Chest X-ray
  • Chest ultrasound
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Lung Diseases
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postoperative Care
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Thoracic Surgical Procedures
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Ultrasonography
  • Wedge sign


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