Comparison Study of Low-Cost Ultrasound Devices for Estimation of Gestational Age in Resource-Limited Countries

T.L.A. van den Heuvel, D. de Bruijn, D. Moens-van de Moesdijk, A. Beverdam, B. van Ginneken and C.L. de Korte

Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology 2018;44(11):2250-2260



We investigated how accurately low-cost ultrasound devices can estimate the gestational age (GA) using both the standard plane and the obstetric sweep protocol (OSP). The OSP can be taught to health care workers without prior knowledge of ultrasound within one day OSP and thus avoid the need to train dedicated sonographers. Three low-cost ultrasound devices were compared to one high-end ultrasound device. GA was estimated with the head circumference (HC), abdominal circumference (AC) and femur length (FL) using both the standard plane and the OSP. The results revealed that the HC, AC and FL can be used to estimate GA using low-cost ultrasound devices in the standard plane within the inter-observer variability presented in literature. The OSP can be used to estimate the GA by measuring the HC and the AC, but not the FL. This study shows that it is feasible to estimate GA in resource-limited countries with low-cost ultrasound devices using the OSP. This makes it possible to estimate GA and assess fetal growth for pregnant women in rural areas of resource-limited countries.

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