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Clinical diagnosis of pneumonia, typical of experts


Miettinen, O S; Flegel, K M; Steurer, J (2008). Clinical diagnosis of pneumonia, typical of experts. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 14:343-350.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Clinical diagnosis of pneumonia is a concern when a patient presents with recent cough--new or worsened--together with fever as the chief complaint. Given this presentation, the doctor would benefit from having access to software that specifies, first, what diagnostic indicators experts typically use in that diagnosis; then, upon entry of those facts, what experts' typical probability of pneumonia is in such a case; and finally, how much this probability might change upon adding the facts from chest radiography. METHODS: We specified a set of 36 hypothetical presentations of this type by patients 20-70 years of age, involving a comprehensive set of clinical-diagnostic indicators. Members of three separate expert panels independently set the probability of pneumonia in each of these cases, and also the range of possible post-radiography probabilities. A logistic function of the diagnostic indicators was fitted to the medians of the probabilities. RESULTS: The median probability of pneumonia was a joint function of the patient's age and current rate of cigarette smoking; history as to the cough's duration, the fever's maximum, dyspnea (including whether on effort only) and rigors; and physical examination as to temperature, signs of upper respiratory infection, prolongation of expiration, dullness on percussion and some auscultation findings. Non-contributory were history of wheezing, pain on inspiration, type of sputum and signs of cold or influenza. This probability function, and the post-radiography functions based on the same indicators, are accessible at http://www.evimed.ch/pneumonia. INTERPRETATION: The expert inputs to clinical diagnosis that were derived and made readily accessible provide for expertly clinical diagnosis of pneumonia, relevant for decisions about radiography and treatment without it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Clinical diagnosis of pneumonia is a concern when a patient presents with recent cough--new or worsened--together with fever as the chief complaint. Given this presentation, the doctor would benefit from having access to software that specifies, first, what diagnostic indicators experts typically use in that diagnosis; then, upon entry of those facts, what experts' typical probability of pneumonia is in such a case; and finally, how much this probability might change upon adding the facts from chest radiography. METHODS: We specified a set of 36 hypothetical presentations of this type by patients 20-70 years of age, involving a comprehensive set of clinical-diagnostic indicators. Members of three separate expert panels independently set the probability of pneumonia in each of these cases, and also the range of possible post-radiography probabilities. A logistic function of the diagnostic indicators was fitted to the medians of the probabilities. RESULTS: The median probability of pneumonia was a joint function of the patient's age and current rate of cigarette smoking; history as to the cough's duration, the fever's maximum, dyspnea (including whether on effort only) and rigors; and physical examination as to temperature, signs of upper respiratory infection, prolongation of expiration, dullness on percussion and some auscultation findings. Non-contributory were history of wheezing, pain on inspiration, type of sputum and signs of cold or influenza. This probability function, and the post-radiography functions based on the same indicators, are accessible at http://www.evimed.ch/pneumonia. INTERPRETATION: The expert inputs to clinical diagnosis that were derived and made readily accessible provide for expertly clinical diagnosis of pneumonia, relevant for decisions about radiography and treatment without it.

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8 citations in Web of Science®
11 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic and Policlinic for Internal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:2008
Deposited On:21 Jan 2009 20:27
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 16:41
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1356-1294
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2753.2007.00873.x
PubMed ID:18324941

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