Beyond the heart's borders

At times in the echo lab, we have to look beyond the heart's borders. Check out this interesting case!

What's your diagnosis?

Multiple answers are possible:

A) Pleural effusion

B) Pericardial Cyst

C) Pulmonary Embolism

D) Bronchial Carcinoma


While echocardiography isn't typically used to visualize lung tumors, this case emphasizes the importance of a thorough examination of extracardiac spaces during transthoracic echocardiography. The heterogeneous mass observed surrounding the heart, obstructing the left pulmonary artery and extending to the left ventricle, turned out to be a lung carcinoma, as seen in it's full extent in the accompanying CT images. You may have also noticed the small pleural effusion on the PSAX view!

Did you know that many smoking Hollywood legends like Walt Disney and Jim Varney fell victim to lung cancer, sounding a powerful 'nail in the coffin' for the tobacco trade in the U.S.? There is a long list of historians, authors, philosophers, executives, political leaders and kings who have lost their battles against smoking. While the tobacco lobby is long tried to downplay the health risks tied to smoking, it is and has always been the leading risk factor for both Small Cell (SCLC) and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).

While lung ultrasound isn't the primary diagnostic tool for initial detection, it plays an indispensible role at each step related to lung cancer diagnosis, staging, and treatment! Learn how to apply lung ultrasound to increase safety during thoracocentesis, biopsies and other procedures – with our Lung Ultrasound MasterClass! Get your free lectures now!