Review: indications for ultrasound use in low‐ and middle‐income countries
Objective To determine the indications for using ultrasound, in low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMICs) and to assess whether its use alters clinical management.
Methods Literature review. We conducted a Pubmed search on the clinical use of ultrasound in LMIC for articles published between January 2000 and December 2010, recording country of origin, speciality and whether ultrasound use led to a change in management.
Results Fifty‐eight articles were identified from 32 countries and represented nine specialties. Ultrasound was most commonly used for assisting with the diagnosis of obstetrical conditions, followed by intra‐abdominal conditions such as liver abscesses and intussusceptions. Clinical management was altered in >30% of cases.
Conclusion Ultrasound is a highly valuable diagnostic tool in LMICs and its use should be considered essential for all district medical facilities. The use could be applied more widely, eg., for tropical and non‐communicable diseases. Additional research is needed to further characterize the impact of task shifting on ultrasound use in LMICs.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-12-01