According to a new study, the occurrence of infection after ultrasound-guided procedures is very low. The study included reviewing several types of these procedures such as fine-needle aspiration and thoracentesis, which involves needle draining of fluids from the thoracic cavity. The study is going to appear in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. Ultrasound is one of the major medical imaging techniques that uses sound waves to generate images of the internal organs. The technique is preferred due to its high safety profile, especially for pregnant women and children.
More about Ultrasound-guided procedures.
John M. Knudsen, MD, lead author of the study, said "Ultrasound-guided procedures are safe, effective and accurate in that they utilize real-time imaging and do not use potentially harmful radiation. Given the large number of ultrasound-guided procedures performed annually at our institution and the lack of extensive literature on the incidence of infection after an ultrasound-guided intervention, we decided to conduct a large study to supply data that can be used to better inform patients for consent," The study took place at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. It involved reviewing 13,534 ultrasound-guided procedures that were carried out during a two-year time. Dr. Knudsen commented "Of the 13,534 procedures, there were only 14 procedure-related infections: 11 were likely related to the procedure and three, possibly related," The reported infections during the ultrasound-guided procedures included four bloodstream infections, four cases of peritonitis, five abscesses in addition to one urinary tract infection. Dr. Knudsen concluded "We found that the incidence of a serious infection after ultrasound-guided intervention is low. Nearly all patients with an infectious complication improved on antibiotics alone. Radiologists can use these data to provide more accurate information to patients when asking for consent before procedures and to reassure their patients,"