Point-of-care ultrasound by the pediatrician in the diagnosis and follow-up of community-acquired pneumonia,


J. Pediatr. (Rio J.)




Abstract Objectives: To review, analyze, and present the available evidence on the usefulness of point-of-care pulmonary ultrasound in the diagnosis and monitoring of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), aiming to facilitate its potential inclusion into pediatric clinical reference guidelines. Source of data: A non-systematic research was carried out in the MEDLINE (PubMed), LILACS, and SciELO databases, from January 1985 to September 2019. The articles that were considered the most relevant were selected. Synthesis of data: CAP is a relevant cause of morbidity and mortality in pediatrics and its clinical management remains a major challenge. The systematic use of chest X-ray for its diagnosis is controversial because it exposes the child to ionizing radiation and there are interobserver differences in its interpretation. Recently, the use of point-of-care pulmonary ultrasound by the pediatrician has been presented as an alternative for the diagnosis and monitoring of CAP. A great deal of evidence has disclosed its high sensitivity and diagnostic specificity, with the advantages of no ionizing radiation, relatively low cost, immediate results, portability, and the possibility of repetition according to the requirements of disease evolution. Moreover, its use can help rule out possible bacterial etiology and thus prevent inappropriate antibiotic treatments that favor bacterial resistance. Conclusions: Point-of-care ultrasonography represents an opportunity to improve the diagnosis and monitoring of CAP. However, as an operator-dependent technique, training is required for adequate image acquisition, correct interpretation, and integration with clinical data for correct decision-making.

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