Can Chest Computed Tomography Be Replaced by Lung Ultrasonography With or Without Plain Chest Radiography in Pediatric Pneumonia?

Parisa Hajalioghli, Masoud Nemati, Leila Dinparast Saleh, Daniel F Fouladi
Journal of Thoracic Imaging 2016, 31 (4): 247-52

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to answer the following question: can chest computed tomography (CT) requested by pediatricians be replaced by lung ultrasonography (US) with or without chest radiography in pediatric pneumonia?

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 98 children with suspected pneumonia who were referred by pediatricians for CT examinations were prospectively studied. Levels of agreement between CT findings and plain radiography, lung US, and chest radiography plus lung US results were investigated.

RESULTS: CT defined pneumonia in 84 patients, among which 26 cases were complicated. κ values between radiography and CT findings were 0.82 in complicated cases, 0.67 in uncomplicated cases, and 0.72 overall. The corresponding values between US and CT findings were 1, 0.52, and 0.62, respectively, and between radiography plus US and CT findings were 1, 0.86, and 0.88, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: CT can be replaced by US when complex effusions are present in children with pneumonia. In case of an ambiguous diagnosis of pediatric pneumonia with or without complex effusions, a combination of chest radiography and US is a reliable surrogate for chest CT.

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