Ultrasound diagnosis of pneumonia in children

Radiol Med. 2008 Mar;113(2):190-8. doi: 10.1007/s11547-008-0247-8. Epub 2008 Apr 2.
[Article in English, Italian]


Purpose: This study was done to compare the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound and chest X-ray (CXR) in children with suspected pneumonia.

Materials and methods: Seventy-nine children aged from 6 months to 16 years with clinical signs suggestive of pneumonia underwent lung ultrasound and CXR.

Results: Lung ultrasound was positive for the diagnosis of pneumonia in 60 patients, whereas CXR was positive in 53. In four patients with negative CXR and positive ultrasound findings, pneumonia was confirmed by chest computed tomography (CT) (performed for recurrent pneumonia in the same location). In the other three patients with negative CXR and positive ultrasound findings, the clinical course was consistent with pneumonia.

Conclusions: Lung ultrasound is a simple and reliable tool that can be used by the clinician in the case of suspected pneumonia. It is as reliable as CXR, can be easily repeated at the patient's bedside and carries no risk of irradiation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pneumonia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography