Abstract: INTRODUCTION Pneumonia is the principal cause of death among children worldwide. Lung ultrasound (LUS) is a reliable tool for the diagnosis and assessment of community-acquired pneumonia in children. Furthermore, objective parameters, including the pneumonia LUS score, might be useful for pneumonia monitoring. Thus, our aim was to present a newly developed LUS score for pediatric pneumonia (PedPne) and evaluate its relationship with commonly assessed inflammatory markers. METHODS Children referred to the Pediatric Pneumology Clinic between September 2017 and February 2018 with suspected pneumonia were screened for eligibility for inclusion in the study and informed consent was obtained. In addition to clinical assessment, LUS was performed during consultation, and inflammatory biomarkers, including C-reactive protein level, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and leukocyte count, were measured in all inpatients. An LUS score for pneumonia and pleurisy in children (pediatric pneumonia lung ultrasound score [PedPne LUS]) was subsequently developed. Chest radiography (CXR) was also performed according to local guidelines for pneumonia diagnosis. Spearman's correlation test was used to evaluate the correlation between the PedPne score and inflammatory markers. RESULTS A total of 217 patients were screened, of which 64 patients diagnosed with consolidated pneumonia were included in this study. The median PedPne LUS score of the included patients was 8.02, which was consistent with the consolidations detected on LUS and confirmed by CXR. A very strong positive correlation was found between the LUS PedPne score and C-reactive protein and ESR, and a good correlation was found with the leukocyte count. CONCLUSION The LUS pneumonia score is a reliable parameter for the evaluation of pneumonia, and shows a strong correlation with inflammatory biomarkers. The PedPne LUS score is a potential noninvasive surrogate parameter of inflammation in pediatric pneumonia.
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