(HealthDay)—Ultrasound (US) could replace chest radiography (CXR) for detecting pneumonia in children, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases, held from May 6 to 10 in Dublin.
Lilliam Ambroggio, Ph.D., from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues compared chest US and CXR findings read by four blinded radiologists in patients aged 3 months to 18 years. Patients had either a clinically ordered computed tomography (CT) scan or were admitted to the hospital with a respiratory condition.
The researchers found that 35 percent of the 37 patients with both US and CXR also had chest CTs. Patients had a mean age of 4.18 years, and 62 percent were male. US may be more sensitive, but less specific, in detecting consolidations and pleural effusions than CXR, when both were compared to CT.
"Ultrasound and chest radiography in our study were statistically equivalent, suggesting the potential for chest ultrasonography to replace chest X-rays in detecting pneumonia in children, particularly in outpatient and resource-limited settings," Ambroggio said in a statement. "The advent of ultrasound technology in the diagnosis of pneumonia in developing countries is potentially easier to establish as the infrastructure needed to perform and interpret a chest ultrasound is much less than what is needed to perform a chest radiograph."