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Using a Smartphone-Linked Portable Ultrasound for Sonographic Evaluation of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

According to a study published in Dermatology, the clinical staging systems for hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) have poor interrater reliability and possibly underestimate disease activity. It is possible that sonographic staging systems could overcome these challenges, but typical ultrasound (US) machines are expensive and bulky. A portable US (pUS) may facilitate the integration of sonography into routine practice. Therefore, the study aimed to assess the capabilities of a novel smartphone-linked pUS device for identifying key sonographic lesions of HS.

The study reviewed charts of 16 patients with HS who were assessed with pUS at the outpatient Dermatology and Wound Care Clinics of a university hospital center. Particularly, it examined clinical and sonographic images of the affected areas. The main outcome measures were the number of patients with identifiable sonographic lesions and the number of patients with subclinical lesions as detected by the pUS.

The results showed that all three key sonographic lesions of HS were identifiable with pUS, with sonographic lesions identified in 10 patients (62.5%) and subclinical lesions identified in 2 patients (12.5%). It was noted that in both cases, the imaging affected management decisions.

The authors concluded that pUS can identify the key sonographic lesions of HS. Additionally, the results indicated pUS is a simple and affordable way to integrate HS US into clinical and research settings, with clear potential benefits to patients. –Jessica Garlewicz


Weigelt MA, Hilerowicz Y, Leichter JA, Lev-Tov H. Sonographic evaluation of hidradenitis suppurativa with smartphone-linked portable ultrasound. Dermatology. Published online March 8, 2021. doi:10.1159/000513920

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