Set up

  • Probe: Linear
  • Mode: Thoracic/Lung
  • Starting Depth: 
    • 3 cm for evaluation of pleura
    • 10 cm for evaluation of parenchyma

Views (left and right):

  • Lung sliding
  • Anterior chest
  • Posterior chest
  • Mid-axillary line
  • Costophrenic angle


  • Lung sliding – Orient the probe with the marker towards the patient’s head on the anterior chest wall (2nd-3rd intercostal space)
  • B-lines, consolidation, pleural effusion – increase depth, and move probe to evaluate midaxillary line, costophrenic angle, and posterior lung fields. Compare both sides.

Normal Lung

Normal lung sliding


Pleural Effusion

Free fluid located above  the diaphragm



No movement is seen on the pleura

Absence of lung sliding mistaken for pneumothorax

→ Absent lung sliding can also be seen in: right mainstem intubated patients, patients with bullous disease, and severe consolidation.

Missed pneumothorax

→ Pneumothorax will only be seen in the area scanned. The likelihood of identifying a pneumothorax is highest when the anterior and apical areas of the chest are scanned.

Mirror artifact mistaken for lung consolidation

→ A mirror artifact duplicates an image by reflection. Confirm that what appears to be a consolidation is not actually a reflection of the liver or spleen.

Intra-abdominal fluid mistaken for pleural fluid

→ Identify the location of fluid in relation to the diaphragm (above or below) to correctly identify intra-abdominal vs intrathoracic fluid.