Pneumonia in children: New model can cut X-rays

To streamline the diagnostic process of childhood pneumonia and cut the need for X-rays, a team of US researchers have developed a model that predicts which patients are at risk for developing pneumonia. whether the community is high or low.

For young children, pneumonia – an infection that can cause the lungs to fill with fluid – can be life-threatening in severe cases, so it’s important to determine when a child has had it in the community. copper.

Using X-rays to confirm the diagnosis is standard procedure, but there have been recommendations limiting the use of X-rays, which the researchers hope to address.

“Our predictive model of community-acquired pneumonia is an important step towards reducing radiation exposure in children safely,” said Dr. Sriram Ramgopal, emergency medicine physician at the Hospital Lurie Children’s Institute of Chicago, assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University’s medical school and lead author of the study, said in a press release. “For patients who are identified as having a low risk of pneumonia, we can also avoid unnecessary antibiotic use.”

To create a model that could predict which children might be more at risk for pneumonia, the studies looked at the records of 1,142 patients 3 months to 18 years old who were screened for pneumonia. previously acquired in the community.

By looking at these records, the researchers narrowed down some common characteristics that could help indicate a high or low risk of pneumonia. These include increasing age, duration of fever, and decreased breathing rate on stethoscope examination.

Of the 1,142 patients, 253 were radiographically confirmed to have community-acquired pneumonia. These patients tend to be older, have persistent fevers, and “focal hypoventilation”.

Runny nose and wheezing were negatively associated with pneumonia in the study, although these are symptoms that may indicate the disease.

“Since our model does not rely on laboratory results, it could allow for broader deployment in primary care settings,” said Dr. Todd Florin, research director for Acute Medicine Researcher at Lurie Children’s Hospital, associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University and senior author of the study, said in the release.

“If validated by other centers, this model could be implemented using an online risk calculator or through clinical decision support tools that could be embedded in an electronic medical record. ”

All of the patients in the study were from the same center, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, and had lower respiratory tract infections that required chest X-rays to check for pneumonia.

This model is not intended to replace X-rays as a diagnostic tool for community-acquired pneumonia, but could help reduce children’s exposure to X-rays if they are at very low risk of developing pneumonia. .


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