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Imaging in Pediatric Pneumonia

Overview

In many cases, the diagnosis of pneumonia in children is based on clinical criteria, and a good physical examination can usually detect typical symptoms of pneumonia and localize the infection. Some complications such as parapneumonic effusion or abscess may be detectable through changes in percussion note or vocal fremitus, but there is a role for imaging in confirming the diagnosis when physical examination is inconclusive or difficult. The best situations to employ imaging in the setting of pneumonia are when diagnosing the infection in younger children and infants (where the signs and symptoms may be non-specific or subtle), and when assessing possible treatment failure, or complications that may require surgical intervention.

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