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

The utility of chest radiography in the follow-up of pneumonia
Heaton P, Arthur K.
N Z Med J. 1998 Aug 28;111(1072):315-7.

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
Retrospective cohort study.

The Study Patients
65 children diagnosed with pneumonia (history, clinical and radiological diagnosis). Mean age 3.5 years (0.4 � 13 years)

The Evidence

  Chest Radiograph (%)


Normal Improved


Clinical assessment No symptoms or signs 35 (95) 2 (5) 0 (0) 37
Residual symptoms and signs 0 (0)

3 (75)

1 (25) 4
Total 35 5 1 41

11 of the original study group were not offered follow up.
A further 13 were lost to follow up. Follow up was offered at 4 to 6 weeks post discharge, with 76% attending during this period. The X-rays were reviewed by the same radiologist as at diagnosis.

Appraised by
Rob Negrine and Ian Wacogne13 December 2002