Assessment of ultrasound acoustic artifacts in patients with acute dyspnea: A multicenter study

Marco Sperandeo, Antonio Varriale, Giuseppe Sperandeo, Eva Polverino, Beatrice Feragalli, Maria Luisa Piattelli, Michele M. Maggi, Vincenzo O. Palmieri, Fulvia Terracciano, Ilario De Sio, Massimo Villella, Massimiliano Copetti, Fabio Pellegrinil, Gianluigi Vendemiale, Cristiana Cipriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Recent reports indicate that numerical assessment of B-lines during transthoracic ultrasound may aid the differential diagnosis of acute diffuse pleuropulmonary disorders. Purpose: To determine whether B-lines are different in normal and diseased lungs and whether they can be used to discriminate between different types of pulmonary disorders in acutely ill patients. Material and Methods: In this multicenter study, transthoracic ultrasonography was performed on 193 patients with acute dyspnea, 193 healthy non-smokers, and 58 patients who had undergone pneumonectomy for lung cancer. Examinations were done with a low-medium frequency (3.5-5.0 MHz) convex probe and a high-frequency (8-12.5 MHz) linear probe. Video recordings were re-examined by a second set of examiners. In each participant, we measured the number of B-lines observed per scan. Results: B-lines counts were higher in dyspnoic patients (means: 3.11 per scan per linear probe scan vs. 1.93 in healthy controls and 1.86 in pneumonectomized patients; P, 0.001 for all); all counts were higher when convex probes were used (5.4 in dyspnoic patients and 2 in healthy controls; P, 0.001 vs. the linear probe). Subgroups of dyspnoic patients defined by cause of dyspnea displayed no significant differences in the number of B-lines. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that there are a significant higher number of B-lines in the lungs of patients with dyspnea compared to healthy subjects and to pneumonectomized patients. Nevertheless, the quantification of B-lines does not make any significant contribution to the differential diagnosis of dyspnea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-892
Number of pages8
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Artifact
  • Lung
  • Thorax
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Medicine(all)


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