Unmasking the Lung Pulse for Detection of Endobronchial Intubation

Stephen Alerhand, James W. Tsung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The ultrasound lung pulse for detecting endobronchial intubation was first described in 2003 in the only study to date assessing its accuracy. It refers to rhythmic movement of the visceral pleura along the stationary parietal pleura as cardiac vibrations transmit through a motionless, airless lung. Compared to delayed visualization on chest radiography, this artifact immediately detects physiologic atelectasis. There is a scarcity of studies assessing the lung pulse, while several others that encountered this artifact did not even identify it. The lung pulse is useful for immediate detection of endobronchial intubation, but it remains unrecognized and underused by physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2105-2109
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • endobronchial intubation
  • lung pulse
  • mainstem intubation
  • point-of-care ultrasound


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