Point-of-Care Thoracic Ultrasonography in Patients With Cirrhosis and Liver Failure

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2021 Jun 10;13(6):e15559. doi: 10.7759/cureus.15559. eCollection 2021 Jun.


Point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS) helps determine liver-related pathologies like an abscess, portal vein or hepatic vein thromboses, presence of ascites, site for pleural or ascitic paracentesis, and guiding biopsies. POCUS is revolutionizing the management of critically ill patients presenting with pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute-on-chronic liver failure, and in the emergency. The objectives of thoracic ultrasonography (TUS) are to aid the clinician in differentiating between pneumonia, effusions, interstitial edema and collections, and in estimating the volume status of patients with liver disease using inferior vena cava dynamic indices. The use of POCUS in patients with cirrhosis has since evolved. It is now widely used to help diagnose volume status, left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, myocardial infarction, and right ventricular dilation due to pulmonary embolism and to determine the causes for weaning failures such as effusions, lung collapse, and pneumothorax. During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, moving patients for computed tomography can be difficult. Therefore, TUS is now essential in liver transplantation and intensive care practice to assess ventilatory pressures, cardiac function, and fluid management. This review indicates the current and optimized use of TUS, offers a practical guide on TUS in the liver intensive care unit (ICU), and presents a diagnostic pathway for determining lung and pleural pathology, resolution of respiratory failure, and aid weaning from mechanical ventilation.

PMID:34277182 | PMC:PMC8271278 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.15559

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