Unsolved problems in the approach to pediatric community-acquired pneumonia.
ABSTRACT This review discusses unsolved problems concerning pediatric community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and identifies the areas of research that need to be developed.
Diagnosing pediatric CAP and the required hospitalization are difficult problems especially in the presence of mild signs and symptoms. It is frequently not possible to identify the cause of this disease, and this explains why antibiotics are unnecessarily prescribed in some cases. The treatment recommendations for severe CAP are better defined than those for mild and moderate CAP.
It is possible to prepare recommendations for most of the problems that emerge in severe cases of pediatric CAP even though its cause can also be difficult to identify. However, the recommended approach to mild or moderate cases is always based on mainly moderate or poor quality evidence. There is an urgent need for further studies aimed at defining first-line and second-line antibiotic therapy for mild and moderate CAP. In the absence of new data, it is necessary to be aware that a substantial number of patients will not be optimally treated.
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ABSTRACT: Microbe-specific diagnosis of pediatric community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and the distinction between typical-bacterial, atypical-bacterial and viral cases are difficult. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of four serum non-specific inflammatory markers and their combinations, supplemented by chest radiological findings, in the screening of bacterial etiology of pediatric CAP. Serum procalcitonin (PCT), serum C-reactive protein (CRP), blood erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and white blood cell (WBC) counts were determined in 101 children with CAP, all confirmed on chest radiograph. Evidence of etiology was achieved in 68 patients (67%) mainly using a serologic test panel including 15 pathogens. For the combination of CRP > 100 mg/L, WBC count > 15 x 10(9)/L, PCT > 1.0 ng/mL and ESR > 65 mm/h, the likelihood ratio for a positive test result (LR+) was 2.7 in the distinction between pneumococcal and viral CAP and 3.9 between atypical and viral CAP. If there was a higher value in one of these four parameters (CRP > 200 mg/L, WBC count > 22 x 10(9)/L, PCT > 18 ng/mL or ESR > 90 mm/h) LR+ changed to >or=3.4, which means a significant increase from pre-test to post-test disease probability. An alveolar radiological infiltration was associated with higher values in non-specific inflammatory markers when compared with interstitial infiltrates, but there were no significant associations between radiological and etiological findings. CRP, WBC count, PCT and ESR or their combinations have a limited role in screening between bacterial and viral pediatric CAP. If all or most of these markers are elevated, bacterial etiology is highly probable, but low values do not rule out bacterial etiology.Pediatrics International 02/2009; 51(1):91-6. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mycoplasma pneumoniae continues to be a significant cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). A more definitive methodology for reliable detection of M. pneumoniae is needed to identify outbreaks and to prevent potentially fatal extrapulmonary complications. We analyzed 2 outbreaks of CAP due to M. pneumoniae. Nasopharyngeal and/or oropharyngeal swab specimens and serum samples were obtained from persons with clinically defined cases, household contacts, and asymptomatic individuals. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for M. pneumoniae was performed on all swab specimens, and the diagnostic utility was compared with that of 2 commercially available serologic test kits. For cases, 21% yielded positive results with real-time PCR, whereas 81% and 54% yielded positive results with the immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G/immunoglobulin M serologic tests, respectively. For noncases, 1.8% yielded positive results with real-time PCR, whereas 63% and 79% yielded serologically positive results with the immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G/immunoglobulin M kits, respectively. The sensitivity of real-time PCR decreased as the duration between symptom onset and sample collection increased, with a peak sensitivity of 48% at 0-21 days. A specificity of 43% for the immunoglobulin M antibody detection assay was observed for persons aged 10-18 years, but the sensitivity increased to 82% for persons aged 19 years. Thorough data analysis indicated that no single available test was reliable for the identification of an outbreak of CAP due to M. pneumoniae. A combination of testing methodologies proved to be the most reliable approach for identification of outbreaks of CAP due to M. pneumoniae, especially in the absence of other suspected respiratory pathogens.Clinical Infectious Diseases 06/2009; 48(9):1244-9. · 9.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Differentiating bacterial from nonbacterial community-acquired pneumonia in children is difficult. Although several studies have evaluated serum concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) as a predictor of bacterial pneumonia in this patient population, the utility of this test remains unclear. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to quantitatively define the utility of serum CRP as a predictor of bacterial pneumonia in acutely ill children. Multiple databases were searched, bibliographies reviewed, and 2 authorities in the field were queried. Studies were included if: (1) the patient population was between 1 month and 18 years of age; (2) CRP was quantified in all subjects as part of the initial evaluation of a suspected, infectious, pulmonary process; (3) a cutoff serum CRP concentration between 30 and 60 mg/dL was used to distinguish nonbacterial from bacterial pneumonia; (4) some criteria were applied to differentiate bacterial from nonbacterial or viral pneumonia; (5) all patients were acutely ill; and (6) a chest radiograph was obtained as part of the initial evaluation. The quality of each included study was determined across 4 metrics: diagnostic criteria; study design; exclusion of chronically ill or human immunodeficiency virus infected subjects; and exclusion of patients who recently received antibiotics. Data was extracted from each article; the primary outcome measure was the odds ratio of patients with bacterial or mixed etiology pneumonia and serum CRP concentrations exceeding 30-60 mg/L. Heterogeneity among the studies was determined by Cochran's Q statistic; the methods of both Mantel and Haenszel, and DerSimonian and Laird were used to combine the study results. Eight studies fulfilled inclusion criteria. Combining all of the studies demonstrated a pooled study population of 1230 patients with the incidence of bacterial infection of 41%. Children with bacterial pneumonia were significantly more likely to have serum CRP concentrations exceeding 35-60 mg/L than children with nonbacterial infections (odds ratio = 2.58, 95% confidence interval = 1.20-5.55). Sensitivity analysis demonstrated that this difference was robust. There was significant heterogeneity among the 8 studies (Q = 37.7, P < 0.001, I2 = 81.4) that remained throughout the sensitivity analysis. In children with pneumonia, serum CRP concentrations exceeding 40-60 mg/L weakly predict a bacterial etiology.The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 02/2008; 27(2):95-9. · 3.57 Impact Factor