Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine| Volume 57, ISSUE 2, P227-231, August 2019

Diagnosis of an Acute Lobar Nephronia in the Emergency Department Using POINT-OF-CARE Ultrasound

  • Brunhild M. Halm
    Reprint Address: Brunhild M. Halm, md, phd, rdms, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York, 3959 Broadway, New York, NY 10032
    Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY
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      Over the past decade, point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has been performed increasingly in pediatric emergency medicine for a variety of indications. POCUS is a focused, limited, goal-directed examination at the bedside performed and interpreted by a physician trained in POCUS with the purpose of answering a specific question. Applying POCUS for immediate evaluation of specific emergent complaints may allow for faster and safer management of ill patients in the pediatric emergency department (ED).

      Case Report

      A 5-year-old female presented to the pediatric ED with fever, vomiting, and back pain. Based on the real-time gray scale and color Doppler POCUS findings, a diagnosis of an acute lobar nephronia (ALN) was made by a pediatric emergency physician and the patient was admitted to the hospital before laboratory and urinalysis findings were resulted. This case report illustrates how POCUS and knowledge of the sonographic characteristics of an ALN were beneficial for shortening the time to decision for admission, rapidly ruling out hydronephrosis (which may have required other interventions), and conveying important information to the admitting team.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Performing a kidney POCUS and knowing the sonographic characteristics of an ALN can assist in its diagnosis, especially in patients where pyuria is absent. In addition, performing a kidney POCUS in patients with a suspected upper urinary tract infection may shorten the time to decision for admission and improve communication with the pediatric admitting resident regarding diagnosis and indication.


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