Three-view bedside ultrasound to differentiate acute decompensated heart failure from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Three-view bedside ultrasound to differentiate acute decompensated heart failure from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Am J Emerg Med. 2013 Apr;31(4):759.e3-5

Authors: Mantuani D, Nagdev A

Abstract
Identifying the cause of acute dyspnea in the emergency department is often challenging, even for the most experienced provider. Distinguishing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from acute decompensated heart failure in the acutely dyspneic patient who presents in respiratory distress is often difficult. Patients are often unable to give a detailed history when in extremis, yet primary management needs to be initiated before further testing can be completed. Bedside diagnostic ultrasound has emerged as a tool for emergency physicians to rapidly evaluate the cardiopulmonary status in patients presenting with undifferentiated shortness of breath [1-3]. A rapid 3-view sonographic evaluation of the heart, lungs, and inferior vena cava or “Triple Scan” may be a useful tool in identifying the cause of acute dyspnea and may aid the clinician in the initial management of the critically ill dyspneic patient. We present a case where a 3-view ultrasound examination, the “Triple Scan,” allowed for detection of new onset congestive heart failure and initiation of appropriate medical therapy without waiting for further standard diagnostic testing.

PMID: 23380088 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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