Using a curvilinear ultrasound probe, images of the patient were obtained from the left mix-axillary line. These images demonstrate a loculated left-sided pleural effusion (outlined in the attached ultrasound image in blue) that was moderate in size, concerning for an empyema. The diaphragm on the right (red) of the image outlines the inferior margin of the collection of pus, which is seen in the inferior aspect of the left lung. Unfortunately, rib shadows on the left side of the image prevent the full empyema from being captured in this single image. As a result of the bedside ultrasound, however, the patient was rapidly diagnosed with an empyema and was initiated on antibiotics, which is further discussed below. After his bedside ultrasound was completed, his chest x-ray revealed the expected left-sided pleural effusion. Additionally, a CT angiogram of the chest was ordered to rule out a pulmonary embolism, which was negative for an embolism but does redemonstrate the left-sided loculated pleural effusion (outlined on the CT axial and coronal images in blue).
An ultrasound (US) of the abdomen was obtained to evaluate for possible pyloric stenosis (see US transverse/dopper imaging). While imaging showed a normal pyloric channel, it revealed an unexpected finding: a complex cystic mass arising from the right adrenal gland (yellow outline), measuring 5.8 by 4.0 by 6.4 cm with calcifications peripherally and mass effect on the kidney without evidence of vascular flow (blue arrow). Computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen/pelvis with IV contrast was subsequently obtained and measured the lesion as 2.8 by 4.6 by 4 cm without evidence of additional masses, lymphadenopathy or left adrenal gland abnormality (see CT axial, coronal, and sagittal imaging).
Facial ultrasound revealed local inflammatory changes such as increased echogenicity and heterogeneity in the soft tissues of the right cheek, suggestive of soft tissue edema. There was evidence of a prominent right parotid gland with increased heterogeneity suggestive of a traumatic injury. Additionally, facial ultrasound demonstrated a 6mm ill-defined anechoic collection within the right cheek without increased doppler flow (green arrow), thought to represent a focal area of edema instead of an abscess.
Case Report: Thoracic Aortic Dissection in a Previously Healthy Male with an Unusual Inciting FactorDOI: https://doi.org/10.21980/J8G92S
A non-contrast computed tomography (CT) scan was negative for a suspected ureteral stone. However, there were aortic calcifications visualized at the infrarenal level that were notable given the patient’s age (red arrow). Given this finding in conjunction with the patient’s symptoms, bedside transabdominal ultrasonography was performed which revealed an intraluminal echogenic flap within the aorta near the common iliac arteries. CT angiography (CTA) with delayed contrast protocol revealed an extensive Stanford type A aortic dissection with involvement of the aortic root (purple arrow), brachiocephalic trunk, ostia of the left subclavian artery, descending aorta (blue arrow), bilateral common iliac arteries, and left internal iliac artery.
On vitals, the patient was found to be consistently hypertensive to the 230s/160s. Point-of-care glucose was within normal limits. Noncontrast CT imaging of the head revealed no acute intracranial hemorrhage or evidence of ischemic stroke, but was remarkable for areas of biparietal subcortical low-attenuation (white arrows), concerning for PRES. Patient subsequently underwent CT angiogram imaging of the head with perfusion which revealed no large vessel occlusion.
The patient was in noticeable respiratory distress and had oxygen saturation of 94% on room air. Bilateral jugular venous distention with severe right supraclavicular lymphadenopathy and diffuse bilateral wheezing was present. Although muffled heart sounds and hypotension are part of Beck’s Triad, these were not present in this case. Electrocardiogram obtained on arrival showed a sinus tachycardia with low-voltage QRS complexes and electrical alternans. Low voltage QRS can be seen on the ECG provided and is demonstrated by the low amplitude of the QRS complexes seen on all the leads. Electrical alternans may have an alternating axis or amplitudes of the QRS complex. Alternating axis is best visualized in V4-V6 on this ECG while alternating amplitudes are seen throughout the rest of the ECG. Computed tomography angiogram (CTA) of the chest revealed a large pericardial effusion with bilateral pulmonary emboli and a right upper lobe mass. A bedside transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) was then performed and confirmed the large effusion, but also showed right ventricular collapse during diastole, indicative of cardiac tamponade.
CT head without contrast demonstrated a minimally displaced fracture of the frontal sinuses at the midline underlying his known laceration that involved the anterior and posterior tables of the calvarium. This is seen on the sagittal view and indicated by the blue arrow. There was a small volume of underlying subarachnoid hemorrhage along the falx. There was also extensive pneumocephalus most pronounced along the bilateral anterior frontal convexity associated with the frontal sinus fracture, seen on the axial image and indicated by the red arrow. This pattern of air is commonly referred to as the “Mount Fuji” sign.6 Other intracranial air can also be seen on the sagittal image and is indicated by the white arrow.
Computed tomography (CT) revealed a burst fracture (Jefferson) of the anterior arch (white arrows) and of the posterior arch (yellow arrows) of the first cervical vertebrae (C1). There was also a fracture of the right lateral mass (blue arrow) of C1 with mild lateral subluxation of the lateral masses (curved arrows).
A consultative scrotal ultrasound was performed, which was read as showing a small right hydrocele, small bilateral scrotal pearls, and normal-appearing testes. Although present, there was no mention of subcutaneous air suggestive of NF, seen in figure 1 as punctate hyperechoic foci (arrowhead) with ring-down artifact known as dirty shadowing (arrow). Also, subcutaneous thickening (asterisk) and free fluid (arrow) were seen as shown in figure 2, although their clinical relevance was not recognized in the radiologist's final report. Figure 3 shows an abdominal and pelvic CT that re-demonstrates subcutaneous air in the scrotum and lower abdomen (arrow) as well as fascial thickening of the perineum and free intra-abdominal air. After these images, the patient was transferred to our hospital for further management. Almost immediately after the patient's arrival, POCUS was employed. As seen in figures 4, we were able to identify in just a few minutes extensive subcutaneous air accompanied by dirty shadowing, as well as re-demonstration of subcutaneous thickening, fluid collections, and a right hydrocele. Even without the outside hospital's CT, the sonographic findings were highly suggestive for the diagnosis of NF of the perineum, also known as Fournier’s gangrene.
A Case Report on Detecting Porcelain Gallbladder form Wall-Echo-Shadow Sign on Point-of-Care UltrasoundDOI: https://doi.org/10.21980/J8164G
Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) was performed by the emergency physician. Gallbladder ultrasound (US) should be performed using a curvilinear probe. If the patient’s body habitus does not allow for the use of a curvilinear probe, a phased array probe may be used. To find the gallbladder with ultrasonography, two approaches are commonly used. Many physicians prefer the “subcostal sweep” in which the probe is placed on the xiphoid process in a sagittal plane and swept along the inferior costal margin until the gallbladder is visualized. If this does not adequately locate the gallbladder, the “X minus 7” approach may be used. In this approach, the probe is placed on the xiphoid (X) process in a transverse view and moved 7 centimeters (minus 7) to the patient’s right. This technique is useful for patients with a larger body habitus. If the gallbladder is still not visualized, placing the patient in left lateral decubitus position or asking them to take a deep breath and hold may help the ultrasonographer locate the gallbladder. The US revealed mild hepatic biliary duct dilation with cholelithiasis and sludge, but no additional evidence to suggest cholecystitis. The US image showed a dilated common bile duct at 0.94 cm and calcifications. Visualization of the gallbladder wall is essential in differentiating between a positive wall-echo-shadow (WES) sign and a porcelain gallbladder. While a hypoechoic gallbladder wall is indicative of a WES sign, a hyperechoic wall layer will indicate a calcified gallbladder wall, suggesting a porcelain gallbladder. In image 1, the hyperechoic gallbladder wall can be visualized (white arrow), suggesting the presence of porcelain gallbladder and distinguishing it from a positive WES sign.