A prospective observational study depicting role of lung ultrasound in pediatric pneumonias

Ashish Saklani, Ashwani Tomar, Sumala Kapila, Shyam Lal Kaushik, Anjali Mahajan


Background: Pneumonia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five years of age. Chest x-ray poses radiation hazard to children and thus an alternative safe imaging modality must be explored for pediatric pneumonias.

Methods: This prospective observational study included all children below 18 years of age. Majority of patients were below five years of age. All clinically suspicious patients were subjected to chest x-ray and lung ultrasound (LUS). Chest x-ray was considered as imaging diagnostic standard for pneumonia. Consolidation and dynamic air bronchogram were looked on LUS.

Results: A total of 55 patients were included in study with 26 (47.2%) as infants and up to 47 (85.3%) as under five children. Out of 55 cases 32 cases (58.20%) were diagnosed as lobar pneumonia while 23 (41.8%) as bronchopneumonia on chest x-ray. LUS demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity of 90.63% and 100% for lobar pneumonia and 86.96 and 90.63% for bronchopneumonia respectively. Dynamic air bronchogram sign was found in all cases of lobar pneumonia on LUS and with sensitivity of 73.91% in bronchopneumonia.

Conclusions: LUS proved itself as highly sensitive and specific modality for detecting consolidation and owing to safe non ionizing nature of ultrasound, it must be considered as an alternative to chest x-ray as an imaging diagnostic tool for pediatric pneumonia.


Bronchopneumonia, Lung ultrasound (LUS), Pediatric, Lobar pneumonia, Chest x-ray

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