Gretė Markauskaitė1, Greta Juknaitė1, Marija Gavriljeva2
1 Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Academy of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania
2 Clinic of Kaunas University of Health Sciences, Clinic of Children’s Diseases, Kaunas, Lithuania
Background. Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a common and potentially fatal acute infection of lung parenchyma. Chest radiography is considered the test of choice for diagnosing pneumonia in children but its main drawback is ionising radiation. Therefore, lung ultrasonography (US) is a great alternative to the chest x-ray and it can be performed at the point of care by novice and advanced sonographers.
Aim. To review literature about lung ultrasonography’s role in diagnosing community-acquired pneumonia in pediatrics.
Methods. Literature articles were selected from PubMed and SpringerLink databases using the keywords and their combinations: community-acquired pneumonia, lung ultrasonography, lung ultrasound, chest radiography, pediatrics, children.
Results. In reviewed publications lung US specificity and sensitivity were ≥ 86%. Lung US has a simple and easy-to-learn technique and is non-ionizing. Lung US cannot show changes of pulmonary tissue in some anatomical areas of the lung. The results of lung US depend on the experience of the investigator. Lung US could be used as an alternative to a chest radiography to clarify the diagnosis of CAP.
Conclusions. Lung ultrasound could potentially replace lung x-ray as an additional tool in diagnosing pneumonia. Nevertheless, there are not enough studies with large children populations to absolutely prove the benefits of lung US. Also, there is no standardised training for health care providers on how to perform lung US quickly and correctly interpret the results.
Keywords: community-acquired pneumonia, lung ultrasonography, lung ultrasound, chest radiography, pediatrics, children.