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Acta Paediatr. 2008 Jan;97(1):46-50. Epub 2007 Dec 10.

Radiographic follow-up of community-acquired pneumonia in children.

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  • 1Children's Department, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. pal.suren@fhi.no

Abstract

AIM:

To evaluate the value of radiographic follow-up of community-acquired pneumonia in children who are previously healthy.

METHODS:

Patient records for the years 2003 and 2004 at the Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo were reviewed, and a total of 245 children were selected for the study. Radiographs were evaluated by two paediatric radiologists independently.

RESULTS:

One hundred and thirty-three patients had control radiographs, of which 106 were normal and 27 were abnormal. Only three of 27 patients with abnormal findings had further clinical problems that could be related to the pneumonia. Two of 106 with normal findings had further clinical problems, despite the normal control radiograph. Of the 112 without radiographic follow-up, 10 had subsequent clinical problems, but most occurred within the first 4 weeks after discharge, before controls would have been scheduled. There were five patients who may have benefited from controls. One relapse could theoretically have been prevented. Four patients were cases for whom the pneumonias were the first manifestations of chronic lung disease. Such patients may have some benefit from control radiographs, but only in terms of detecting the chronic disease at an earlier stage, not in altering the clinical course. Such modest benefits must be weighed against the consequences of providing follow-up to a large number of healthy children, and making lots of abnormal findings with no clinical significance.

CONCLUSION:

Control radiographs are not very valuable in children who are otherwise healthy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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