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Lung ultrasound versus chest radiography in the diagnosis of children pneumonia: systematic evidence

Yan J, Yu N, Wang Y, Gao Y, Pan L

Medicine 2020 Dec 11;99(50):e23671

systematic review

BACKGROUND: The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the diagnostic value of lung ultrasound (LUS) in comparison to chest radiography (CXR) in children with pneumonia. METHODS: Computer-based retrieval was performed on PubMed and EMBASE. Quality was evaluated according to the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies-2, and Meta-Disc was adopted to perform meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was assessed using Q and I statistics. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) as the primary outcomes were calculated for each index test. RESULTS: Twenty two studies with a total of 2,470 patients met the inclusion criteria. Our results showed that the pooled sensitivity, specificity, and DOR for children with pneumonia diagnosed by LUS were 0.95 (95% CI 0.94 to 0.96), 0.90 (95% CI 0.87 to 0.92), and 137.49 (95% CI 60.21 to 313.98), respectively. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, and DOR for pediatric pneumonia diagnosed by CXR was 0.91 (95% CI 0.90 to 0.93), 1.00 (95% CI 0.99 to 1.00), and 369.66 (95% CI 137.14 to 996.47), respectively. Four clinical signs, including pulmonary consolidation, positive air bronchogram, abnormal pleural line, and pleural effusion were most frequently observed using LUS in the screening of children with pneumonia. CONCLUSIONS: The available evidence suggests that LUS is a reliable, valuable, and alternative method to CXR for the diagnosis of pediatric pneumonia.

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