Clinical signs of pneumonia in children

Lancet. 1991 Oct 12;338(8772):928-30. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(91)91785-s.


Clinical and chest radiographic findings were recorded prospectively in 185 children with cough who attended an outpatient clinic in Papua New Guinea. Children were studied if they were between 8 weeks and 6 years of age; patients with wheeze, stridor, measles, or pertussis were excluded. 56 children (30%) had radiological evidence of pneumonia. The presence of either a respiratory rate greater than or equal to 50/min or chest indrawing, or of both signs, was a good indication of pneumonia, with a predictive power of 46% for a positive test and 83% for a negative test. A more complex definition of tachypnoea, as a respiratory rate greater than or equal to 40/min in children over 12 months old and greater than or equal to 50/min in infants, showed little additional diagnostic benefit.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cough / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pneumonia / complications
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia / diagnostic imaging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography