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ATS Sch. 2021 Sep 8;2(3):452-467. doi: 10.34197/ats-scholar.2021-0034RE. eCollection 2021 Sep.
The following is a concise review of the Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine Core reviewing pediatric pulmonary infections, diagnostic assays, and imaging techniques presented at the 2021 American Thoracic Society Core Curriculum. Molecular methods have revolutionized microbiology. We highlight the need to collect appropriate samples for detection of specific pathogens or for panels and understand the limitations of the assays. Considerable progress has been made in imaging modalities for detecting pediatric pulmonary infections. Specifically, lung ultrasound and lung magnetic resonance imaging are promising radiation-free diagnostic tools, with results comparable with their radiation-exposing counterparts, for the evaluation and management of pulmonary infections. Clinicians caring for children with pulmonary disease should ensure that patients at risk for nontuberculous mycobacteria disease are identified and receive appropriate nontuberculous mycobacteria screening, monitoring, and treatment. Children with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) typically present with mild symptoms, but some may develop severe disease. Treatment is mainly supportive care, and most patients make a full recovery. Anticipatory guidance and appropriate counseling from pediatricians on social distancing and diagnostic testing remain vital to curbing the pandemic. The pediatric immunocompromised patient is at risk for invasive and opportunistic pulmonary infections. Prompt recognition of predisposing risk factors, combined with knowledge of clinical characteristics of microbial pathogens, can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of specific bacterial, viral, or fungal diseases.