Society of Hospital Medicine – Pediatric Hospital Medicine

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 21, 2013

Don’t order chest radiographs in children with uncomplicated asthma or bronchiolitis.

National guidelines articulate a reliance on physical examination and patient history for diagnosis of asthma and bronchiolitis in the pediatric population. Multiple studies have established limited clinical utility of chest radiographs for patients with asthma or bronchiolitis. Omission of the use of chest radiography will reduce costs, but not compromise diagnostic accuracy and care.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

A Delphi panel of pediatric hospital medicine physicians with wide geographic representation was convened by the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM). The panel developed an initial list of 20 items with input from colleagues at each of the panelists’ home institutions, which was then discussed and reduced to 11 items via consensus of the panel. A comprehensive literature review was undertaken for these 11 items, while they were concurrently circulated on the electronic listservs of SHM’s Pediatric Committee and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Hospital Medicine. The collated comments along with the results of the evidence review were then presented to the members of the panel.

Two rounds of Delphi voting took place via electronic submission of votes by the panel. Validity and feasibility of each item was assessed by the Delphi panel on a nine-point scale for each of the 11 items and the mean of each item was obtained. The aggregate score of the means of validity and feasibility decided the final five items. These recommendations were then submitted to the SHM Board for review and approval.

SHM’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.hospitalmedicine.org.

Sources

American Academy of Pediatrics, Diagnosis and Management of Bronchiolitis, Subcommittee on Diagnosis and Management of Bronchiolitis, Pediatrics. 2006 Oct; 118(4):1774-93.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. Expert panel report 3: Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health; 2007 Aug. 417 p. Report No.:07-4051.

Dawson KP, Long A, Kennedy J, Mogridge N. The chest radiograph in acute bronchiolitis. J Paediatr Child Health. 1990 26(4):209-211.

Roback MG, Dreitlein DA. Chest radiograph in the evaluation of first time wheezing episodes: review of current clinical efficacy. Pediatr Emerg Care. 1998 Jun;14(3):181-4.