Ultrasonographic features of pneumothorax

 Question 30.3 from the second paper of 2013 asked that the candidates list the ultrasound features of a pneumothorax. Though this is an interesting topic (the subject of at least one excellent paper) one might argue that it is insufficiently detailed to require an entire revision chapter dedicated to it. In this spirit, the content below is merely an illustrated list of features. The pictures may be useful in some point of the future: the college have taken to including TTE images in their papers, and it is not inconceivable that some future paper might include pictures of an M-mode cut through a pneumothorax.

Thus, the ultrasonographic features of pneumothorax are as follows:

Absence of "Seashore sign" on M-mode

Seashore sign - ultrasonographic signs of pneumothorax

Absence of "B-lines" or "comet-tails" moving in synchrony with the pleura

A-lines and B-lines -  - ultrasonographic signs of pneumothorax

Absence of sliding lung

Sliding lung sign -  - ultrasonographic signs of pneumothorax

Lung point sign - the point where the pneumothorax transitions into normal lung

Lung Point sign -  - ultrasonographic signs of pneumothorax


Husain, Lubna F., et al. "Sonographic diagnosis of pneumothorax." Journal of Emergencies, Trauma & Shock 5.1 (2012).

The images in this chapter were stolen shamelessly from this reference. No permission was asked for. The images remain property of the Journal of Emergencies, and I have merely mirrored them for non-commercial educational purposes.