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A case-control study of SARS versus community acquired pneumonia
  1. F W T Cheng1,
  2. P C Ng1,
  3. W K Chiu2,
  4. W C W Chu3,
  5. A M Li1,
  6. K L Lo4,
  7. E K L Hon1,
  8. E A S Nelson1,
  9. T F Leung1,
  10. W H Ng3,
  11. E Wong5,
  12. P Ip2,
  13. T F Fok1
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong
  3. 3Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Organ Imaging, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  4. 4Department of Radiology and Organ Imaging, United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong
  5. 5Centre of Epidemiology and Biostatistic Research, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor P C Ng
    Level 6, Department of Paediatrics, Clinical Sciences Building, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong;


The clinical, laboratory, and radiological features at presentation of 16 children (<12 years) with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and pneumonia were compared with 32 age matched patients with community acquired pneumonia for determination of predictive factors that could allow early differentiation of the two conditions. A definitive contact history was the most important predictor for SARS. Raised serum lactate dehydrogenase concentration in the presence of low neutrophil count and serum creatine phosphokinase level at presentation also indicated an increased likelihood of SARS-coronavirus infection in young children.

  • CAP, community acquired pneumonia
  • CI, confidence interval
  • CPK, creatine phosphokinase
  • LDH, lactate dehydrogenase
  • OR, odds ratio
  • RSV, respiratory syncytial virus
  • RT-PCR, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction
  • SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • SARS-CoV, SARS-coronavirus
  • community acquired pneumonia
  • SARS
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  • Competing interests: none declared

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