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Arch Dis Child. 2005 Nov;90(11):1153-6.

Diagnostic accuracy of chest radiography in detecting mediastinal lymphadenopathy in suspected pulmonary tuberculosis.

Author information

1
Division of Paediatric Medicine, School of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. swingler@ich.uct.ac.za

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the diagnostic accuracy of chest radiography in the detection of chest lymphadenopathy in children with clinically suspected pulmonary tuberculosis.

METHODS:

DESIGN:

Prospective cross sectional study.

SETTING:

A short stay ward in a children's hospital in South Africa.

PATIENTS:

Consecutive children under 14 years of age admitted with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis.

DIAGNOSTIC TEST:

Antero-posterior and/or lateral chest x rays interpreted independently and blind to the reference standard by three primary care clinicians and three paediatricians, all with a special interest in tuberculosis. Reference standard: Spiral chest computed tomography (CT) with contrast injection.

RESULTS:

One hundred children (median age 21.5 months) were enrolled. Lymphadenopathy was present in 46 of 100 reference CT scans and judged to be present in 47.1% of x ray assessments. Overall sensitivity was 67% and specificity 59%. Primary care clinicians were more sensitive (71.5% v 63.3%, p = 0.047) and less specific (49.8% v 68.9%, p<0.001) than paediatricians. Overall accuracy was higher for the paediatricians (diagnostic odds ratio 3.83 v 2.49, p = 0.008). The addition of a lateral to an antero-posterior view did not significantly increase accuracy (diagnostic odds ratio 3.09 v 3.73, p = 0.16). Chance adjusted inter-observer agreement (kappa) varied widely between viewer pairs, but was around 30%.

CONCLUSIONS:

Detection of mediastinal lymphadenopathy on chest x ray to diagnose pulmonary tuberculosis in children must be interpreted with caution. Diagnostic accuracy might be improved by refining radiological criteria for lymphadenopathy.

Comment in

PMID:
16243870
PMCID:
PMC1720188
DOI:
10.1136/adc.2004.062315
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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