Le Cercle des Echographistes d’Urgence et de Réanimation Francophones – CEURF- “Circle of Emergency Ultrasound users in Rescusitation for French-speaking countries”

proposes courses of ultrasound devoted to the intensive care and emergency medicine, and intended to intensivists, anesthesiologists, emergency physicians, and any interested physicians. This discipline is more known and acknowledged since a few years. Though created since more than half a century, ultrasound reveals only today its full potential thanks to the devoted works of searchers who, day after day, define its territory and limits. Ultrasound provides only advantages to the patient. Rapid bedside diagnosis, visual based interventional procedures, no side effects, minimal cost...


(Extract of the text of Nathalie Lascols, President of the CEURF from 2003 to 2005)

Born from the works of Paul Langevin in 1915 on the sonar, Ultrasound has first medical applications written by André Dénier since 1946 (Presse Med). Clinical ultrasound has been historically the matter of the cardiologists and obstetricians first. Outside these main fields, as CT and MRI developed, general ultrasound was so to speak a little forgotten as emergency diagnosis procedure. Yet a young intensivist, soon at the begin of the 1990s, discovers unknown applications of ultrasound for the intensive care and emergency medicine. Although air was deemed a major hindrance, he contributes to developing lung ultrasound in the critically ill, a precious tool for immediate diagnoses, what more is accurate and easy to perform.

Lung ultrasound is built upon simple and standardized signs that have been published in the international literature. Ultrasound is not however limited to lung ultrasound. Daniel Lichtenstein, our young researcher in ultrasound, published at Springer since 1992, “General Ultrasound in the Intensive Care”. He demonstrates a whole range of use of general ultrasound in the critically ill. Beside lung ultrasound, that allows prompt diagnoses of pneumothorax, fluid effusion, pneumonia, acute interstitial disorders, abdominal ultrasound, allowing search for peritoneal effusion, venous ultrasound, of precious help in the case of pulmonary embolism, or again interventional ultrasound, allowing visual guidance for immediate inserting of catheters, chest tubes, thoracentesis, paracentesis. But everything is not said. General ultrasound has a wide-ranging field to define. Daniel Lichtenstein, intensivist and on-site “sonographer” (the french term is Echographiste, a word paradoxically hard to translate), invites us to enlarge the use of general ultrasound with new applications of abdominal ultrasound (pneumoperitoneum, mesenteric infarction), head ultrasound (optic nerve for assessing intracranial hypertension, maxillary sinusitis...), general ultrasound of the heart (the basics for the noncardiologist), and lung ultrasound in the ventilated neonate. Increasing numbers of teams confirm since a few years the interest of general and lung ultrasound in the critically ill. Lung and general ultrasound in the critically ill has recently been the objet of a communication at the French National Academy of Medicine (March 6, 2007 séance). Experiences are growing, especially conducted by people of value like Luca Neri and Enrico Storti (Italy), Paul Mayo (U.S.A), Radu Badea (Rumania), Lucas Greiner (Allemagne), Francis Lee (Singapour), and many others.


The didactic part of the course is condensed in the textbook regularly published and updated by Daniel Lichtenstein at Springer (1992, 2002, 2005, 2010). The latest edition, Whole Body Ultrasonography in the Critically Ill, integrates his last publications, mainly regarding lung ultrasound for hemodynamic assessment in the critically ill. Dr Nathalie Lascols was of major role for creating the CEURF?. She has confided its Presidency to Prof. Daniel Lichtenstein since April 2005.