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Lung Ultrasonography in the Diagnosis of Pneumonia in Children—A Metaanalysis and a Review of Pediatric Lung Imaging

Najgrodzka, Paulina, MD*; Buda, Natalia, PhD; Zamojska, Anna, Prof; Marciniewicz, Ewelina, MD§; Lewandowicz-Uszyńska, Aleksandra, PhD

doi: 10.1097/RUQ.0000000000000411
Review Article

Background Pneumonia is one of the most frequent widespread and severe infectious diseases in pediatric patients worldwide. Pneumonia is characterized by high incidence and possibility of complications in the course of the disease in pediatric patients. For this reason, there is a need to have a rapid and safe diagnostic method to recognize it. Imaging diagnostic tools, such as x-ray examinations, necessitate caution while using these methods. To date, there have been lots of studies with the aim to determine the role of lung ultrasonography (LUS) in the diagnosis of inflammatory lesions in children. Our aim was to assess the accuracy of the LUS as diagnostic method of pneumonia in children by making a systematic research of literature.

Objectives This work is a review of available literature and studies on LUS in pneumonia in children and summary of necessary information about the usefulness of LUS and sonographic findings to diagnose pneumonia in the pediatric population.

Methods We searched the following databases: PubMed, Scopus, MEDLINE, and Ovid. The following key words were used: pediatrics, pneumonia, ultrasound, chest x-ray, and LUS.

Results The total search results amounted to 1987. From 1987 potentially eligible studies, 19 were included, and 3 were meta-analysis. We studied and performed the statistical analysis of the results publication.

Conclusions As a result of the analysis, a significant advantage of the ultrasound examination in comparison with the x-ray study was demonstrated. Lung ultrasound could be a safe diagnostic method for this reason.

*Third Department and Clinic of Pediatrics, Immunology and Rheumatology of Developmental Age Wrocław Medical University, Wrocław;

Department and Clinic of Internal Medicine, Connective Tissue Diseases and Geriatrics, Medical University of Gdańsk; and

Department of Econometrics, University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland,

§Department of General Radiology, Interventional Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Teaching Hospital at Borowska 213; and

Third Department of Pediatrics, Clinic of Immunology and Rheumatology of Developmental Age, Medical University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland.

Received for publication May 28, 2018; accepted October 10, 2018.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence to: Paulina Najgrodzka, MD, Medical Imaging Center of Lesser Silesia, Regional Specialist Hospital in Wroclaw, Research and Development Center, H. Kamieńskiego 73a, 51-124 Wrocław, Poland (e-mail:

Compendium date: June, 2019

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