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Lung ultrasonography for the diagnosis of pneumonia has been around since as early as 1970,1 although it is only in recent years with the growing interest in point-of-care ultrasound that more studies have been published with regard to its use in children. Even though pneumonia is one of the most common and potentially serious illnesses that affects children throughout the world, studies of pneumonia are often difficult to interpret in context with each other because of the variability in definitions used, as well as the lack of an easy gold standard. Many organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and British Thoracic Society, define pneumonia solely based on clinical findings, which can largely over-represent true cases of pneumonia (eg, children with bronchiolitis or viral-induced wheezing will often meet the case definition of pneumonia). Attempts to refine the definition of pneumonia by adding radiographic criteria (eg, parenchymal infiltrates on chest radiography) to the clinical criteria are also problematic given the variable test characteristics of chest radiography for pneumonia,2 variabilities in interpretation even among radiologists,3 problems with ionising radiation exposure and cost, and given that many clinical guidelines do not require the use of chest radiography for the management of suspected community-acquired pneumonia.
Further complicating this issue is the fact that the causative pathogen of …
Funding None declared.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.