Comparison of chest radiograph and lung ultrasound in children with acute respiratory failure.

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PURPOSE: Chest x-ray (CXR) is the standard imaging used to evaluate children in acute respiratory distress and failure. Our objective was to compare the lung-imaging techniques of CXR and lung ultrasound (LUS) in the evaluation of children with acute respiratory failure (ARF) to quantify agreement and to determine which technique identified a higher frequency of pulmonary abnormalities.

METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of a prospective observational study evaluating the sensitivity and specificity of LUS in children with ARF from 12/2018 to 02/2020 completed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA). Children > 37.0 weeks corrected gestational age and ≤ 18 years of age admitted to the PICU with ARF were evaluated with LUS. We compared CXR and LUS completed within 6 h of each other. Kappa statistics (k) adjusted for maximum attainable agreement (k/k

RESULTS: Eighty-eight children had LUS completed, 32 with concomitant imaging completed within 6 h are included. There was fair agreement between LUS and CXR derived diagnoses with 58% agreement (k/k

CONCLUSIONS: There is fair agreement between CXR and LUS-derived diagnoses in children with ARF. Given this, clinicians should consider the benefits and limitations of specific imaging modalities when evaluating children with ARF. Additional studies are necessary to further define the role of LUS in pediatric ARF given the small sample size of our study.

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J Ultrasound





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