UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Pediatrics | Radiology | Respiratory Tract Diseases


OBJECTIVE: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of thermal imaging (TI) in the setting of focal consolidative pneumonia with chest X-ray (CXR) as the gold standard.

SETTING: A large, 973-bed teaching hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

PARTICIPANTS: 47 patients enrolled, 15 in a training set, 32 in a test set. Age range 10 months to 82 years (median=50 years).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Subjects received CXR with subsequent TI within 4 hours of each other. CXR and TI were assessed in blinded random order. Presence of focal opacity (pneumonia) on CXR, the outcome parameter, was recorded. For TI, presence of area(s) of increased heat (pneumonia) was recorded. Fisher's exact test was used to assess the significance of the correlations of positive findings in the same anatomical region.

RESULTS: With TI compared with the CXR (the outcome parameter), sensitivity was 80.0% (95% CIs 29.9% to 98.9%), specificity was 57.7% (95% CI 37.2% to 76.0%). Positive predictive value of TI was 26.7% (95% CI 8.9% to 55.2%) and its negative predictive value was 93.8% (95% CI 67.7% to 99.7%).

CONCLUSIONS: This feasibility study confirms proof of concept that chest TI is consistent with CXR in suggesting similarly localised focal pneumonia with high sensitivity and negative predictive value. Further investigation of TI as a point-of-care imaging modality is warranted.


Chest Imaging, Diagnostic Radiology, Paediatric Radiology, Respiratory Infections

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© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

DOI of Published Version



BMJ Open. 2018 Jan 5;8(1):e017964. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017964. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMJ open

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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