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TableĀ 4 Possible suggested causes for false-positive and negative results of bedside ultrasonography for the diagnosis of traumatic chest injuries

From: Value of point-of-care ultrasonography compared with computed tomography scan in detecting potential life-threatening conditions in blunt chest trauma patients

Traumatic chest injury Missed diagnoses Causes
Pneumothorax False positive Achalasia
Pleural adhesions
Phrenic nerve palsy
Pulmonary fibrosis
Pulmonary atelectasis
Cardiopulmonary arrest
Congestive heart failure
Right main bronchus intubation
Subcutaneous chest emphysema
Acute respiratory distress syndrome
Significant concomitant lung contusion
Bullous emphysema/pulmonary blebs
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
High positive end expiratory pressure-ventilated patients
False negative Lung remained in contact with the chest wall despite PTX
Operator, machine or transducer conditions
Cardiac movement with left lung sliding
Subcutaneous chest emphysema
Occult small pneumothorax
Hemothorax False positive Pleural effusion differential diagnoses
False negative Minimal amount hemothorax
Subcutaneous emphysema
Lung contusion False positive Pulmonary fibrosis
Cardiogenic pulmonary edema
Acute respiratory distress syndrome
False negative Subcutaneous emphysema
Inaccessible to ultrasound (retrosternal, paravertebral, etc.)
  1. PTX pneumothorax