UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Pediatric Lung Ultrasound

Keywords: POCUS, Pediatrics, Lung Ultrasound, Bronchiolitis (PubMed Search)

Posted: 11/20/2023 by Alexis Salerno, MD
Click here to contact Alexis Salerno, MD

Acute bronchiolitis (AB) is a common cause of respiratory tract infections in infants. A recent study looked at the application of Point-of-Care Lung Ultrasound (LUS) in infants <12 months who presented with symptoms of AB. 

They scored infant lungs using a cumulative 12-zone system. With the below scale: 

0 - A lines with <3 B lines per lung segment. 

1 - ≥3 B lines per lung segment, but not consolidated. 

2 - consolidated B lines, but no subpleural consolidation. 

3 - subpleural consolidation with any findings scoring 1 or 2. 


They found that infants with higher LUS scores had increased rates of hospitalization and length of stay.  

Here are some tips for ultrasounding a pediatric patient: 


  • Attempt to warm the gel
  • Have the parent/relative hold the patient while scanning
  • For those old enough, allow the child to investigate the ultrasound probe prior to placing the probe on the child.
  • Destract the child while performing scanning



Smith JA, Stone BS, Shin J, Yen K, Reisch J, Fernandes N, Cooper MC. Association of outcomes in point-of-care lung ultrasound for bronchiolitis in the pediatric emergency department. Am J Emerg Med. 2023 Oct 21;75:22-28. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2023.10.019. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37897916.