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Ultrasound diagnosis of pneumonia in children

Diagnosi ecografica di polmonite nell’età pediatrica



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.


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.


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.



Confrontare l’accuratezza diagnostica dell’ecografia polmonare con la radiografia del torace in bambini con sospetta polmonite.

Materiali e metodi

Sono stati studiati 79 bambini con età compresa tra 6 mesi e 16 anni con segni clinici suggestivi di polmonite. Tutti hanno eseguito una ecografia polmonare ed una radiografia del torace.


L’ecografia polmonare è risultata positiva per polmonite in 60 dei pazienti studiati mentre la radiografia in 53. In 4 pazienti con radiografia negativa ed ecografia polmonare positiva la polmonite è stata confermata dalla tomografia assiale computerizzata (eseguita per la ricorrenza della polmonite nella medesima sede). Negli altri 3 pazienti con radiografia negativa ed ecografia positiva il decorso clinico è stato compatibile con una polmonite.


L’ecografia polmonare è una metodica semplice ed affidabile che può essere utilizzata in ambito clinico nel sospetto di polmonite. È affidabile quanto la radiografia del torace, può essere ripetuta facilmente al letto del paziente e non espone a radiazioni ionizzanti.

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Correspondence to R. Copetti.

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Copetti, R., Cattarossi, L. Ultrasound diagnosis of pneumonia in children. Radiol med 113, 190–198 (2008).

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  • Lung sonography
  • Pneumonia
  • Chest radiography
  • Lung consolidation
  • Ultrasound

Parole chiave

  • Ecografia polmonare
  • Polmonite
  • Radiografia del torace
  • Consolidamento polmonare
  • Ultrasuoni