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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 2 ( August, 2018 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Role of ultrasound in detection of radiolucent foreign bodies in extremities

Mehraj D. Tantray, Asim Rather, Qazi Manaan, Irfan Andleeb, Mir. Mohammad, Yasmeena Gull

Keywords : Extremities, Foreign body, Radiolucent, Ultrasonography

Citation Information : Tantray MD, Rather A, Manaan Q, Andleeb I, Mohammad M, Gull Y. Role of ultrasound in detection of radiolucent foreign bodies in extremities. 2018; 13 (2):81-85.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-018-0308-z

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-06-2016

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; The Author(s).


Removal of foreign bodies from soft tissues in emergency is very challenging and becomes more problematic when it is radiolucent. Blind exploration is sometimes hazardous for patients especially when it is in proximity to a vessel or a nerve or an overlying tendon. The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of ultrasonography (USG) in detecting radiolucent soft tissue foreign bodies in the extremities. From January 2014 to January 2016, 120 patients with either a positive history or clinically suspected soft tissue foreign body and negative radiography were evaluated by USG with a high-frequency (13–6 MHz) linear-array transducer. The sonographic findings were used to guide surgical exploration. Out of 120 patients who underwent surgical exploration, USG was positive in 114 cases, and foreign body was retrieved in 108 cases, and among the six cases where USG was negative, foreign body was retrieved from one case. In one case with strong clinical suspicion of foreign body USG was falsely negative. Majority of foreign bodies were removed from foot (69 cases) and hands (26 cases), and rest of foreign bodies were removed from ankle (4 cases), wrist (3 cases), thigh (2 cases), leg (1 case), knee (2 cases), forearm (2 cases). Accuracy, sensitivity, and positive predictive value were determined as 94.16, 99.08, and 94.13%, respectively. The real-time high-frequency USG is a highly sensitive and accurate tool for detecting and removing radiolucent foreign bodies which cannot be visualized by routine radiography.

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