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J Vector Borne Dis. 2018 Apr-Jun;55(2):79-88. doi: 10.4103/0972-9062.242568.

Predictive and diagnostic test accuracy of ultrasonography in differentiating severe dengue from nonsevere dengue.

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Department of Population Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti-Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia/Public Health, Torrens University Australia, Pyrmont, Sydney, Australia.
Department of Physical and Mathematical Science, Faculty of Science, UTAR, Kampar, Perak, Malaysia.
Medical Affairs Department, Bayer Co., Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., Selangor, Malaysia.
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UTAR, Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.


Diagnosing severe dengue from those who do not develop complication is important to prevent death. The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the diagnostic test accuracy of ultrasonography in differentiating severe dengue from nonsevere dengue; and to assess if ultrasonography/ultrasound can be used as a predictive (screening) and diagnostic tool in the course of dengue infection. An electronic search was conducted in different databases via OvidSP platform. The included studies were cohort studies between 1995 and 2016 wherein cases were confirmed by dengue blood test. Severity of dengue was assessed and compared using standard WHO references. The methodological quality of the paper was assessed by two independent reviewers by using QUADAS-2 tool. In total 12 studies were included in this review after suitable screening. Overall, the studies included had a low and unclear risk of bias. Seven out of nine studies that compared severe dengue and nonsevere dengue, performed an ultrasonography on gallbladder (wall thickness cutoff-3 mm) with a sensitivity of 24.2-100% and a specificity of 13.2-98.7%. Other parameters such as splenic subcapsular fluid collection, pericardial fluid and hepatic subcapsular fluid collection had a specificity of >90%, though the sensitivity was poor. There were insufficient evidence that ultrasonography is able to differentiate severe dengue from nonsevere dengue accurately. The predictive and diagnostic value of ultrasonography could not be concluded due to insufficient reporting on the temporality of the ultrasonography performed with regard to the diagnosis. However, it might serve as an adjunct investigation to support the clinical diagnosis.


Accuracy; dengue; imaging; investigation; severity; ultrasonography

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