Ultrasound in schistosomiasis
A practical guide to the standardized use of ultrasonography for assessment of schistosomiasis-related morbidity
Ultrasonography has become an invaluable extension of the clinical investigation of patients with schistosomiasis, providing direct evidence of the pathological changes associated with this infection. From the outset, due to the range of possibilities for use of the method and interpretation of its measurements, it was evident that the application of ultrasound would need standardizing to permit useful comparisons between the results of different examinations. In order to keep variations in evaluation (of examinations carried out in the same or different patients by various investigators, in various geographical locations, at different times in the same patient, etc.) at a minimum, it was felt that a system of yardsticks was needed. To accomplish this, a manual was produced at a meeting held in Cairo, Egypt in 1990. The experience gained with the use of this manual was discussed at a follow-up meeting in Niamey, Niger, in 1996, and a new manual, incorporating recommendations from the Niamey meeting and a later meeting in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, was prepared.
This manual is now available and it is hoped that it will contribute to the gathering of further experience, particularly in the field of Schistosoma japonicum infection. It is expected that a final meeting will be needed to finalize the work that was started in Cairo 1990. This meeting, tentatively planned for 2002, will focus on schistosomiasis in the Far East but will allow adjustments to be made with respect to examination of patients with S. mansoni and S. haematobium infections, if necessary.