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Implementation of Lung ultrasound to differentiate causes of respiratory distress in paediatric severe malaria

Principal Investigator : Luigi Pisani, Academic Medical Center, Malaria

Project Status : On-going

Project Summary

  • Lung ultrasound is Low cost, non-invasive, repeatable 

    • X rays are limited, and x rays are scarce

  •  ARDS is common and often fatal.  But not yet fully understood, seemingly has both pulmonary and extra pulmonary causes

  • Deaths occur within 24 hours of admission

  • The LUS is fast and would then be able to quickly determine the lung involvement or the extend of the damage to the lungs which could then direct treatment.

  • US have been used as a diagnostic tool to assess damage to other organs just not validated in pediatric lungs

  • Study will be done in congo

  • Study aims

    • Implementation: have LUS be utilized and implemented in clinics

    • Observation : 

In resource limited settings fast and effective diagnosis that can properly inform treatment can be challenging.  In cases of severe malaria, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a common and often lethal complication. The majority of these deaths occur within the first 24 hours after admission. In many places where malaria is endemic access to x rays that could potentially aid the treatment of these patients is very limited, and unfortunately few other options exist.  A proposal by the Pisani lab would help alleviate this diagnostic burden. They propose the use of a lung ultrasound (LUS) as a viable method of diagnosing pulmonary causes of respiratory distress. It is a low cost, non-invasive repeatable diagnostic tool. Ultrasounds have been shown to be effective in diagnosing condition in other organs, but the extent to which pediatric lungs in the context of severe malaria have yet to be fully explored.  Their research will focus on the ability of the LUS to diagnose and differentiate between 1 of 6 key pulmonary conditions caused by p. falciparum malaria. There are two major aims of the study. The first is to compare LUS findings of children with severe p. falciparum with respiratory distress to those without. The second is to implement LUS as standard policy in lower resource African cities.