SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.94 issue6Khamapirad radiologic criteria as a predictor of pneumonia's bacterial etiology author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782

J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) vol.94 no.6 Porto Alegre Nov./Dec. 2018 

Letters to the editor

Radiologic scales as a tool for the etiologic diagnosis of pediatric community-acquired pneumonia

Dafne C. Andrade*  1 

Cristiana Maria Nascimento-Carvalho1 

1Universidade Federal da Bahia, Faculdade de Medicina, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências da Saúde, Salvador, BA, Brazil

Dear Editor,

The use of chest radiograph as an adjunct method for the diagnosis of pediatric community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has been highly debated over the past decades. So far, current evidence has demonstrated that specific radiological findings cannot be reliably used for the etiological diagnosis of CAP.1,2 Nevertheless, in our study, we demonstrated that the presence of a normal chest radiograph has a high negative predictive value for infection by Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most common typical bacterial agent of CAP. As viral agents are the most common etiologic agents of pediatric CAP, this finding may aid in the clinical management of children with signs and symptoms of CAP by selecting those who might benefit from empiric antibiotic therapy.3

Standardized protocols for the evaluation of the chest radiograph are useful in the interpretation of this exam. In our study, we used the recommended criteria defined by the World Health Organization.3,4 However, alternative scales have been described and partially validated for clinical practice. Heinsohn has mentioned the Khamapirad scale,5 which is a grading system based on radiologic characteristics such as the presence, type and location of pulmonary infiltrates, pleural effusion, abscesses and atelectasis. Although high sensitivity and specificity have been described for the use of this scale,6 it is important to note that further validation in a clinical setting is required, including the use of reliable and sensitive techniques for the etiologic diagnosis of bacterial and viral agents of CAP. Nevertheless, the recognition of radiological patterns, particularly the normal chest radiograph, as a tool for the management of pediatric CAP is valid and merits further investigation.

In conclusion, chest radiographs provide indirect evidence of etiologic agents of CAP. Radiologic scales or grading systems that aid in the differentiation between a normal chest radiograph and radiological pneumonia may be a useful tool for the management of pediatric CAP cases but should be adequately validated before inclusion in the clinical practice.

Please cite this article as: Andrade DC, Nascimento-Carvalho CM. Radiologic scales as a tool for the etiologic diagnosis of pediatric community-acquired pneumonia. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2018;94:690-1.


1 Korppi M, Don M, Valent F, Canciani M. The value of clinical features in differentiating between viral, pneumococcal and atypical bacterial pneumonia in children. Acta Paediatr. 2008;97:943-7. [ Links ]

2 Don M, Valent F, Korppi M, Canciani M. Differentiation of bacterial and viral community-acquired pneumonia in children. Pediatr Int. 2009;51:91-6. [ Links ]

3 Andrade DC, Borges IC, Vilas-Boas AL, Fontoura MS, Araújo-Neto CA, Andrade SC, et al. Infection by Streptococcus pneumoniae in children with or without radiologically confirmed pneumonia. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2018;94:23-30. [ Links ]

4 Cherian T, Mulholland EK, Carlin JB, Ostensen H, Amin R, de Campo M, et al. Standardized interpretation of paediatric chest radiographs for the diagnosis of pneumonia in epidemiological studies. Bull World Health Organ. 2005;83:353-9. [ Links ]

5 Heinsohn D. Khamapirad radiologic criteria as a predictor of pneumonia's bacterial etiology. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2018;94:689-90. [ Links ]

6 Moreno L, Bujedo E, Robledo H, Conci R, Marqués I, Mosca L, et al. Validez de la radiografía de tórax para diferenciar etiología bacteriana de viral en niños hospitalizados con neumonía. Arch Argent Pediatr. 2006;104:109-13. [ Links ]

* Corresponding author. (D.C. Andrade).

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Creative Commons License This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivative License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original work is properly cited and the work is not changed in any way.