Thoracic Ultrasound

The ABZ Lines

Nomenclature For Detecting Interstitial Lung Fluid

sensor position


In addition to interrogating the pleural line for sliding to tell us if there’s a pneumothorax or not, we can also look for pathology at the pleural line that may represent something like interstitial fluid from pulmonary edema or CHF. When we do this we use a nomenclature that was developed by Dr. Daniel Lichenstein who was really the father of lung ultrasound, and we’ll talk about A, B, and Z lines with A lines and Z lines being normal, and B lines (the bad ones) being abnormal.

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