Point-of-Care Ultrasound for Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis in India: A Prospective Cohort Study in HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Presumptive Tuberculosis Patients

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2018 Jan;98(1):266-273. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.17-0486.


Diagnosing extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) is challenging. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated EPTB is applied in sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed at evaluating the applicability of POCUS for diagnosing EPTB in HIV-positive and HIV-negative presumptive tuberculosis (TB) patients in India, a country of moderate relative TB and HIV burden. Presumptive TB patients at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, India, prospectively underwent POCUS evaluating for pericardial, pleural and ascitic effusion, abdominal lymphadenopathy, and hepatic and splenic microabscesses. Findings were correlated with TB category (confirmed TB, clinical TB, unlikely TB), HIV status, and discharge diagnoses. A total of 425 patients underwent POCUS; 81 (20%) were HIV-positive. POCUS findings were more common in HIV/TB coinfected patients than in HIV-positive patients with unlikely TB (24/40 (60%) versus 9/41 (22%), P < 0.001). Abdominal lymphadenopathy and splenic microabscesses were strongly associated with TB in HIV-positive patients (P = 0.002 and P = 0.001). POCUS findings did not correlate with TB in HIV-negative patients; a third of HIV-negative patients with unlikely TB and POCUS findings had cancer, another third other infectious diseases. Sonographic findings were common in HIV-positive and HIV-negative presumptive TB patients. POCUS was a useful bedside test for the detection of HIV-associated EPTB. In HIV-negative patients, POCUS detected features associated with EPTB but also of malignancy and other infectious diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coinfection / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coinfection / microbiology
  • Coinfection / virology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tuberculosis / complications
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography* / methods