Pleural Effusion

  • Allows the detection of small amounts of pleural fluid
  • Helps guide thoracentesis
  • Place probe at the mid to posterior axillary line
  • Effusions shows as black anechoic area on ultrasound


  • Homogeneously anechoic effusions may be either transudates or exudates
  • Heterogeneity typical of a complex effusion

Figures and Clips

Figure 1 - Pleural Effusion

Clip 1 - Pleural Effusion


Lichtenstein, Daniel A. “Lung ultrasound in the critically ill.” Annals of intensive care 4.1 (2014): 1.