From bedside to bench: lung ultrasound for the assessment of pulmonary edema in animal models

Jana Grune, Niklas Beyhoff, Niklas Hegemann, Jonathan H. Lauryn, Wolfgang M. Kuebler
Cell and Tissue Research2020
Traditionally, the lung has been excluded from the ultrasound organ repertoire and, hence, the application of lung ultrasound (LUS) was largely limited to a few enthusiastic clinicians. Yet, in the last decades, the recognition of the previously untapped diagnostic potential of LUS in intensive care medicine has fueled its widespread use as a rapid, non-invasive and radiation-free bedside approach with excellent diagnostic accuracy for many of the most common causes of acute respiratory failure, e.g., cardiogenic pulmonary edema, pneumonia, pleural effusion and pneumothorax. Its increased clinical use has also incited attention for the potential usefulness of LUS in preclinical studies with small animal models mimicking lung congestion and pulmonary edema formation. Application of LUS to small animal models of pulmonary edema may save time, is cost-effective, and may reduce the number of experimental animals due to the possibility of serial evaluations in the same animal as compared with traditional end-point measurements. This review provides an overview of the emerging field of LUS with a specific focus on its application in animal models and highlights future perspectives for LUS in preclinical research.
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