Lung Ultrasonography for the Diagnosis of Pleural Effusion in Children

Dewi Sitoresmi Ayuningtyas, Sri Martuti, Muhammad Riza


Background:Chest radiograph was currently the standard imaging for diagnosing pleural effusion. However, there were many limitations, namely radiation, varying interpretation, and long time to get results. Lung ultrasonography is an alternative procedure that is easy to learn and offers many benefits, including noninvasive, ra­diation free, fast, valid, and reliable. The objec­tive of this study was to determine sensiti­vity, specificity, and positive likelihood ratio (LR+)of lung ultrasonography performed by pediatric resident for diagnosing pleural effusion

Subjects and Method: This was a cross sectio­nal study at pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) Dr. Moewardi Hospital, Surakarta, Indonesia. We included pediatric patients aged 1 month-18 years from November 2018 to December 2019. A sam­ple of 44 patients with suspected pleural effusion was selected by consecutive sampling. The independents variable was lung ulrasono­graphy. The dependent va­riable were pleural effusion. All subjects under­went lung ultrasono­graphy and chest radiograph. Sensitivity, speci­ficity, and positive likelihood ratio were calculated.

Results:There were 44 samples with 59.1% under 1 year old and 54.5% were female. All patients came to the emergency room with complaints of shortness of breath, accom­pa­nied by fever (77.3%) or cough (63.6%). Eleven (25.0%) patients had pleural effusion based on the results of lung ultrasonography. Based on chest radiograph, seven (15.9%) patients had pleural effusion. Lung ultrasonography has sensitivity of 14.3%, specificity of 73%, and LR+ of 0.5 for diagnosing pleural effusion.

Conclusion:Lung ultrasonography can be used as a tool to diagnose pleural effusion with good specificity.

Keywords: lung ultrasonography; pleural effu­si­on

Correspondence: Dewi Sitoresmi Ayuningtyas. Department of Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, Sebelas Maret University/ Dr. Moewardi Hospital, Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia. Jalan Kolonel Sutarto No. 132, Surakarta, Indonesia. Email: rr.dewi­si­to­

Journal of Maternal and Child Health (2021), 06(02): 176-182

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