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Focused assessment with sonography for HIV-associated tuberculosis (FASH): a short protocol and a pictorial review

Tom Heller1*, Claudia Wallrauch1, Sam Goblirsch2 and Enrico Brunetti3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Klinikum Muenchen-Perlach, chmidbauerstr. 44, Munich, 81737, Germany

2  , Saint Paul, MN, 55105, USA

3 Department of Infectious Diseases, San Matteo Hospital Foundation, University of Pavia, Via Taramelli 5, Pavia, 27100, Italy

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Critical Ultrasound Journal 2012, 4:21  doi:10.1186/2036-7902-4-21

Published: 21 November 2012



Ultrasound can rapidly identify abnormal signs, which in high prevalence settings, are highly suggestive of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB). Unfortunately experienced sonographers are often scarce in these settings.


A protocol for focused assessment with sonography for HIV-associated tuberculosis (FASH) which can be used by physicians who are relatively inexperienced in ultrasound was developed.


The technique as well as normal and pathological findings are described and the diagnostic and possible therapeutic reasoning explained. The protocol is intended for settings where the prevalence of HIV/TB co-infected patients is high.


FASH is suitable for more rapid identification of EPTB even at the peripheral hospital level where other imaging modalities are scarce and most of the HIV and TB care will be delivered in the future.

HIV; TB; Co-infection; Ultrasound; Focused assessment; Resource-limited setting.