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Table 2 Physical examination and bedside ultrasound findings in 34 patients

From: Comparing accuracy of bedside ultrasound examination with physical examination for detection of pleural effusion

  All lungs (N = 68 lungs) Lungs with pleural effusion (N = 50 lungs) Lungs with no pleural effusion (N = 18 lungs) P-value
Physical examination findings
Decreased tactile fremitus—No. (%) 37 (54) 34 (68) 3 (17) 0.0002
Crackles—No (%) 30 (44) 23 (46) 7 (39) 0.78
Bronchial breath sounds—No. (%) 53 (78) 39 (78) 14 (78) 1.00
Dullness to percussion—No. (%) 62 (91) 47 (94) 15 (83) 0.33
Asymmetric chest wall expansion—No. (%) 10 (15) 9 (18) 1 (6) 0.27
Egophony—No. (%) 21 (31) 19 (38) 2 (11) 0.04
PE diagnosis—No. (%)     
 Normal/diaphragm 41 (60) 25 (50) 16 (89) 0.005
 Pleural effusion 24 (35) 22 (44) 2 (11) 0.02
 Other (consolidation/atelectasis) 10 (15) 8 (16) 2 (11) 1.00
Median level of confidence (interquartile range) out of 5 3 (2–4) 3 (1–4) 3.5 (2–4) 0.04
 Not at all confident—No. (%) 14 (21) 13 (26) 1 (6) 0.09
 Somewhat not confident—No. (%) 14 (21) 10 (20) 4 (22)  
 Neutral—No. (%) 16 (24) 12 (24) 4 (22)  
 Somewhat confident—No. (%) 22 (32) 15 (30) 7 (39)  
 Very confident—No. (%) 2 (3) 0 2 (11)  
Bedside ultrasound (US) findings
Seated, posterior US exam
Ultrasound diagnosis as pleural effusion 47 (69%) 46 (92) 1 (6) < 0.0001
Median level of confidence of seated, posterior US exam (interquartile range) out of 5 5 (4–5) 5 (5–5) 5 (4–5) 0.10
 Not at all confident—No. (%) 5 (7) 4 (8) 1 (6) 0.15
 Somewhat not confident—No. (%) 0 0 0  
 Neutral—No. (%) 0 0 0  
 Somewhat confident—No. (%) 10 (15) 5 (1) 5 (28)  
 Very confident—No. (%) 48 (71) 38 (76) 10 (56)  
 Missing responses 5 (7) 3 (6) 2 (11)  
Supine, coronal view US exam
Ultrasound diagnosis as pleural effusion (positive spine sign) 50 (74%) 49 (98) 1 (6) < 0.0001
Median level of confidence of supine US exam (interquartile range) out of 5 5 (5–5) 5 (5–5) 5 (4–5) 0.09
 Not at all confident—No. (%) 0 0 0 0.12
 Somewhat not confident—No. (%) 1 (1) 0 1 (6)  
 Neutral—No. (%) 1 (1) 1 (2) 0  
 Somewhat confident—No. (%) 11 (17) 6 (12) 5 (28)  
 Very confident—No. (%) 53 (78) 41 (82) 12 (67)  
 Missing responses—No. (%) 2 (3) 2 (4) 0  
  1. Findings are presented in terms of the individual count of lungs included in the study (N = 68 lungs from 34 patients)