The Use of Ultrasound in Palliative Care and Hospice

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Palliative care aims to reduce symptom burden and enhance quality of life for those with terminal disease. Ultrasound has become an increasingly popular diagnostic and therapeutic modality due to its low cost, ease of portability, safety, and good patient acceptance. A review of the literature to date shows that as a diagnostic tool, as a therapeutic modality, and as a tool to accurately guide palliative procedures, ultrasound can have many roles in palliative care and hospice. Based on our clinical experience, musculoskeletal ultrasound can be of benefit to patients with terminal disease. Examples include adhesive capsulitis in advanced neurologic disease and chronic osteomyelitis in a patient with metastatic colon cancer. Ideally, further studies investigating the use of ultrasound in the palliative care population will be conducted in the future to enhance the availability of diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of this particular modality.

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