Pediatric Radiology > Chest > Respiratory Neonatal Distress > Medical Respiratory Neonatal Distress - Neonatal Pneumonia

Medical Respiratory Neonatal Distress

Neonatal Pneumonia

Neonatal pneumonia can be a difficult clinical and radiographic diagnosis. Frequently, the child will be covered with antibiotics without positive confirmation of pneumonia. However, pneumonia can be confirmed with positive blood cultures. Many different organisms can cause neonatal pneumonia but group B streptococcus is one of the most common infecting agents as 25% of women are colonized.

The radiographic presentation of neonatal pneumonia is frequently nonspecific. Neonatal pneumonia can present with either diffuse reticulonodular densities similar to respiratory distress syndrome or with patchy, asymmetric infiltrates with hyperaeration similar to meconium aspiration. The presence of a small pleural effusion is a useful distinguishing feature as it is a common finding in neonatal pneumonia (up to 2/3) and is uncommon in respiratory distress syndrome.


Example of neonatal pneumonia presenting as patchy, asymmetric opacities with a small right pleural effusion.


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