Diagnosis of pediatric community-acquired pneumonia usually involves X-rays, despite recommendations to limit its use by professional associations. In efforts to reduce radiation exposure from X-rays in children and strengthen adherence to guidelines, researchers at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago and colleagues have developed a simple diagnostic model that accurately predicts whether patients have a high or a low at risk to the community. acquired pneumonia, eliminating the need for X-ray confirmation. Their findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.
“Our predictive model for community-acquired pneumonia is a critical step toward safely reducing radiation exposure in children,” said lead author Sriram Ramgopal, MD, emergency physician at Lurie Children’s and assistant professor of pediatrics. the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “For patients who have been determined to be at low risk for pneumonia, we can also avoid unnecessary antibiotic use.”
dr. Ramgopal and colleagues statistically derived their model based on the clinical history, symptoms, and X-ray results of 1,142 patients, ages 3 months to 18 years, who were evaluated for suspected community-acquired pneumonia. They found three key variables with the strongest predictive value for high-risk or low-risk pneumonia: increasing age, duration of fever, and decreased breath sounds when examined with a stethoscope.
“Because our model does not rely on laboratory results, it may allow for broader implementation in primary care,” said senior author Todd Florin, MD, MSCE, Director of Research in Emergency Medicine at Lurie Children’s and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg. School of Medicine. “If validated by other centers, this model could be implemented using an online risk calculator or clinical decision-making tools that could be embedded in the electronic health record.”
Research at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago is conducted by the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. The Manne Research Institute is focused on improving children’s health, transforming pediatrics and ensuring a healthier future through the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by US News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Last year, the hospital served more than 220,000 children from 48 states and 49 countries.
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