Background: Urogenital schistosomiasis (UGS) causes inflammation and fibrosis of the urinary tract. In resource-limited settings, affordable tools for morbidity assessment in clinical care are needed. Point-of-care ultrasound has not yet been validated for UGS-related pathology.
Methods: We developed a protocol for Focused Assessment with Sonography for Urinary Schistosomiasis (FASUS), assessing pathology of the bladder wall, ureters and kidneys. Following standardized training, two clinicians performed FASUS on children and adults with hematuria in Lambaréné, Gabon. Recorded ultrasound clips were remotely reviewed by two ultrasound experts as a diagnostic reference.
Results: In 2015 and 2016, scans were performed in 118 patients. The image quality was sufficient in 90% of bladder views and more than 97% of kidney views. UGS-compatible pathology was detected in 51/118 (43%) by the operator and in 46/107 (43%) by the experts among baseline scans of sufficient quality. Inter-rater agreement between operators and experts was very good (κ > 0.8) for hydronephrosis and good (κ > 0.6) for bladder wall thickening.
Conclusions: FASUS is a promising clinical, point-of-care tool for detecting UGS-related urinary tract morbidity in symptomatic patients. Based on larger validation studies, appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms for the use of FASUS should be established.
Keywords: Schistosoma haematobium; Gabon; diagnostic imaging; hydronephrosis; point-of-care testing; tropical medicine.
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