What is a thoracic ultrasound?
To assist in the accurate diagnosis of pulmonary conditions, our office may recommend a thoracic ultrasound. This non-invasive diagnostic test provides images and essential information on the vital organs and important structures in the chest cavity.
Unlike other types of diagnostic imaging, a thoracic ultrasound does not involve radiation, nor the ingestion or injection of a contrast dye. This quick and convenient test can also be performed in-office, providing real-time results to assist in the diagnosis of acute as well as chronic issues.
Why a thoracic ultrasound may be recommended
Frequently recommended along with other types of diagnostic imaging such as a chest x-ray, CT scan, or MRI, a thoracic, aka pulmonary ultrasound offers valuable diagnostic information the following conditions affecting the lungs and pleural space:
While the above list reflects some of the more common reasons for a thoracic ultrasound, this type of diagnostic test may also be performed to view and assess other areas with the chest containing the heart, esophagus, lymph nodes, and additional structures. In some cases, a thoracic ultrasound is used for precise visualization as guided instruments remove excess fluids or perform a biopsy of the chest tissue.
How is a thoracic ultrasound performed?
An ultrasound is a non-invasive and painless procedure that uses sound waves to produce images of structures within the body. As with all other ultrasound procedures, the first step involves applying gel to the skin overlying the area to be examined. Then a wand-like transducer, which emits sound waves, is gently glided over the skin. Because sound waves travel at varying speeds depending on what they encounter, the reflected waves can be translated into a precise diagnostic image.
Your trusted partner in care
As skilled and experienced providers of care, our office will explain what to expect during the procedure and carefully review the findings of your diagnostic tests. At North Jersey Pulmonary Associates, your care and comfort are our top priorities. We’re always available to answer every question and concern and remain by your side every step of the way.