Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc, 20(3):653-671, 2000
Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc
Most pediatric chest diseases are adequately evaluated with chest radiography. However, when chest radiography does not allow identification of the location and nature of an area of increased opacity, ultrasonography (US) can help establish the diagnosis. US may be helpful in evaluation of persistent or unusual areas of increased opacity in the peripheral lung, pleural abnormalities, and mediastinal widening; US is particularly useful in patients with complete opacification of a hemithorax at radiography. In cases of pulmonary parenchymal lesions, identification of air or fluid bronchograms at US and of pulmonary vessels at color flow imaging is useful for differentiating pulmonary consolidation or atelectasis from lung masses and pleural lesions. US allows characterization of pleural fluid collections as simple, complicated, or fibroadhesive, which is important information for planning thoracentesis or thoracotomy. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are superior to US in evaluation of the mediastinum, but US is a reasonable alternative in certain situations (eg, to avoid unnecessary investigation of a normal thymus simulating a mediastinal mass). In cases of chest wall lesions, US may enable localization of the site of origin to soft tissues or an extrapleural intrathoracic location. Osseous involvement, particularly rib involvement, is easily evaluated with US.
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