Routine follow-up chest radiology is not indicated in uncomplicated childhood pneumonia 

Value of radiological follow up of childhood pneumonia.
Gibson NA, Hollman AS, Paton JY.
BMJ. 1993 Oct 30;307(6912):1117.

Three-part Clinical Question
In asymptomatic children with prior radiological evidence of pneumonia are routine follow up chest radiographs necessary to assist in management decisions?

The Study
Prospective cohort study.

The Study Patients
77 children with pneumonia (history, clinical and radiological diagnosis).

The Evidence 


Chest Radiograph (%)


Normal Improved


Clinical assessment No symptoms or signs 51 (87) 8 (13)

0 (0)


Residual symptoms and signs 5 (38)

7 (54)

1 (8)

Total 56 15 1 72

5 patients defaulted follow up. Follow up was offered at 3 � 4 weeks after discharge. 7 of the 8 patients with symptoms and signs as well as radiological findings at follow up had pleural effusions on their original chest X-ray. All X-rays were reviewed by the same radiologist (Hollman)

Appraised by

Rob Negrine and Ian Wacogne 13 December 2002