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Acute Chest Diseases: Infection and Trauma

  • José Fonseca Santos
Chapter
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)

Abstract

Acute chest diseases include clinical situations with infectious and traumatic etiology. Pulmonary infection is the most common indication for performing chest radiography. Radiological imaging often confirms the diagnosis and allows the evaluation of the location and extent of infection. Chest radiography is the primary imaging procedure and the starting point for the evaluation of all children with acute chest disease. Accurate interpretation of pediatric chest films also requires a basic understanding of the physiologic and anatomic differences among adults, neonates, and infants and their most important differences will be referred. Characterization of pulmonary infiltrates is important, because patterns of abnormality suggest specific organisms and aetiologies. Although providing evidence suggestive of the causative agent, the chest radiograph cannot confirm viral infection, confirm or exclude bacterial etiology. In fact, in infancy, pneumonia usually produces a combination of alterations of the airspace and interstitium. However, some aspects may be useful in distinguishing between viral and bacterial pneumonia. Close attention to CT technique is crucial for imaging evaluation of pneumonia in pediatric patients, namely those with persistent symptoms and/or progressive symptoms despite medical or surgical therapy, or in immunocompromised patients. CT with low radiation dose technique should be carefully performed in these cases. CT examination with IV contrast is very useful for the evaluation of complications of chest infection. Thoracic trauma in children is rare, only 4–6 % of children are hospitalized following severe trauma. Only a small number of children with trauma have thoracic injury (14 %), but the injuries tend to be of serious nature. About 25–50 % of thoracic trauma cases occur in combination with other trauma locations. Pulmonary contusion and lacerations, tracheobronchial injuries, pneumothorax, and esophageal rupture are referred as the main consequences of trauma. The decision for the appropriate use of imaging techniques must consider the specific case under review. Chest radiography should be the initial screening method. The decision to use CT is determined by the nature of the trauma, the clinical circumstances, and the prediction of future revaluation, always taking into account the radiation dose applied to the child.

Keywords

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Pleural Fluid Bacterial Pneumonia High Resolution Compute Tomography Thoracic Trauma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hospital de Santa MariaLisbonPortugal

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