The aim of this study was to analyze the role and effectiveness of chest ultrasound in the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). There were an estimated 10.4 million new cases of TB worldwide in 2015, 1.4 million of which resulted in death. In order to achieve the World Health Organization’s End TB Strategy by 2035, early detection measures will be of critical importance, especially in low-resource settings. Indeed, one of the main reasons for the failure to diagnose TB is the limited availability of diagnostic tools.
Our objective here was to analyze the existing literature on the use of chest ultrasound in thoracic TB in order to understand whether it is an effective diagnostic tool.
We identified five main areas for the use of chest ultrasound:
- Detection of pleural effusions;
- Assessment of pleural effusions;
- Biopsy support;
- Identification of pathological mediastinal lymph nodes in children;
- Identification and assessment of pulmonary complications.
The use of chest ultrasound appears to be effective, particularly in low-resource settings where access to radiological techniques is limited.