The yield of routine chest radiography in children with cancer hospitalized for fever and neutropenia

J. A. Katz, R. Bash, N. Rollins, J. Cash, G. R. Buchanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A routine admission chest radiograph (CXR) in pediatric patients with cancer who are admitted to the hospital for fever and neutropenia has been advised because the signs and symptoms of pneumonia may be absent. The authors studied 131 consecutive patient admissions for fever and neutropenia to evaluate the diagnostic yield of routine CXR. All patients had a complete history, physical examination, complete blood count, blood culture, urinalysis, urine culture, and CXR. Patients routinely started ceftazidime monotherapy. Results of the CXR were correlated with the presence or absence of signs and symptoms of respiratory disease. Of 128 CXR results, 26 (20%) were abnormal (13 with known malignant disease, 2 with atelectasis, 3 with peribronchial cuffing, and 8 with pneumonia [6%]). Three patients with pneumonia were asymptomatic. Therefore, only 3 of 128 patients (2.3%) had pneumonia on CXR not suspected by physical examination. None would have had initial therapy modified based on the CXR finding alone. The authors concluded that the incidence of pneumonia in a child with fever and neutropenia is low and that routine CXR at diagnostic evaluation is unnecessary in the asymptomatic ambulatory patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-943
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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