Test Yourself

Case 3 - Contact point


 Traumatic chest injury with shortness of breath.


 Ultrasound was performed in the supine trauma patient in the usual position. The 3rd interspace in the midclavicular line with the probe in the longitudinal position. This was done as part of an EFAST examination.

Pneumothorax was confirmed - loss of lung sliding and comet tails with the appearance of reverberation artefact.

In order to determine the size of the pneumothorax the probe was slowly lowered around the chest wall laterally.

The point the two pleural surfaces meet is called the contact point. From this one can roughly estimate the size of a pneumothorax.

Here the position where lung meets the parietal pleura is clearly seen and moves with respiration. Sliding and comet tails are apparent. The pneumothorax is also clear on the right of the image.



James Rippey

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Contact point

Anterior axillary line thoracic wall
Contact point