Volume 59, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Adult Wuchereria bancrofti can be readily detected by ultrasound in the lymphatic vessels of the spermatic cord with a 7.5-MHz transducer, but most ultrasound machines in developing countries are equipped with 3.5-MHz transducers. To assess the potential for ultrasound as a tool for diagnosis and epidemiologic assessment in lymphatic filariasis, we compared the performance of 3.5-MHz and 7.5-MHz transducers in 61 men in Recife, Brazil. All men had three ultrasound examinations using a 3.5 MHz transducer and an examination with a 7.5-MHz probe. Using the 7.5-MHz transducer, adult W. bancrofti were detected in 41 men; 81 adult worm nests were detected. Sixty-four (79%) nests were detected with the 3.5-MHz probe, each on all three examinations. The 3.5-MHz probe correctly identified 35 (85.4%) of 41 men as infected; sensitivity increased with lymphatic vessel diameter. Ultrasonographic examination with a 3.5-MHz transducer is a sensitive method for detection of adult W. bancrofti in men and merits consideration as a tool for rapid epidemiologic assessment.


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