No Decrease in X-Rays for Infants With Lower Respiratory Tract Infections

Bottom Line: Revised guidelines recommend against routine X-rays for infants with bronchiolitis, a viral lower respiratory tract infection that often lands babies in the hospital. Unnecessary X-rays contribute to health care costs and radiation exposure. Despite the guidelines, an analysis of emergency department visits in the United States suggests no decrease in the rate of X-rays from 2007 to 2015, with nearly half of children under 2 with bronchiolitis still getting imaging. The study lacked clinical data to determine the appropriateness of X-rays.

Authors: Brett Burstein, M.D.C.M., Ph.D., M.P.H., Montreal Children’s Hospital, Montreal, Canada, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9245)