Barbic et al have published a systematic review and meta-analysis examining the diagnostic accuracy of PoCUS in diagnosing abscesses in emergency department patients with skin and soft tissue infections. Comparison was made with a reference standard of abscess diagnosis based upon CT, findings on incision and draining or final clinical diagnosis at follow up. 8 studies ( 3 adult and 5 paediatric) totalling 747 patients were included in the analysis.
The diagnostic performance was found to be as follows:
Sensitivity- 96.2% (95% CI 91.1% to 98.4%)
Specificity- 82.9% (95% CI 60.4% to 93.9%)
Positive likelihood ratio- 5.6 (95% CI 2.2 to 14.6)
Negative likelihood ratio- 0.05 (95% CI 0.02 to 0.11).
A pre-planned subgroup analysis showed similar performance in paediatric patients.
The full article can be found here:
In patients presenting to the emergency department with skin and soft tissue infections what is the diagnostic accuracy of point-of-care ultrasonography for the diagnosis of abscess compared to the current standard of care? A systematic review and meta-analysis