Preliminary report from the World Health Organisation Chest Radiography in Epidemiological Studies project
Childhood pneumonia is among the leading infectious causes of mortality in children younger than 5 years of age globally. Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is the leading infectious cause of childhood bacterial pneumonia. The diagnosis of childhood pneumonia remains a critical epidemiological task for monitoring vaccine and treatment programme effectiveness. The chest radiograph remains the most readily available and common imaging modality to assess childhood pneumonia. In 1997, the World Health Organisation Radiology Working Group was established to provide a consensus method for the standardised definition for the interpretation of pediatric frontal chest radiographs, for use in bacterial vaccine efficacy trials in children. The definition was not designed for use in individual patient clinical management because of its emphasis on specificity at the expense of sensitivity. These definitions and endpoint conclusions were published in 2001 and an analysis of observer variation for these conclusions using a reference library of chest radiographs was published in 2005. In response to the technical needs identified through subsequent meetings, the World Health Organisation Chest Radiography in Epidemiological Studies (CRES) project was initiated and is designed to be a continuation of the World Health Organisation Radiology Working Group. The aims of the World Health Organisation CRES project are to clarify the definitions used in the World Health Organisation defined standardised interpretation of pediatric chest radiographs in bacterial vaccine impact and pneumonia epidemiological studies, reinforce the focus on reproducible chest radiograph readings, provide training and support with World Health Organisation defined standardised interpretation of chest radiographs and develop guidelines and tools for investigators and site staff to assist in obtaining high-quality chest radiographs.
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