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Research Letter
October 16, 2018

Use of Radiography in Patients Diagnosed as Having Acute Bronchiolitis in US Emergency Departments, 2007-2015

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Montreal Children’s Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2Division of Emergency Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Montreal Children’s Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
JAMA. 2018;320(15):1598-1600. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9245

Bronchiolitis, a viral infection of the lower respiratory tract, is an important health burden among young children worldwide1 and the most common cause of hospitalization in the first year of life in the United States.2 Clinical practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), published in 2006 and revised in 2014, recommend against routine radiography in the evaluation of infants with bronchiolitis.2 Unnecessary imaging for bronchiolitis contributes to health care costs, radiation exposure, and antibiotic overuse and consequently was identified in 2013 as a national “Choosing Wisely” priority. In this study, a longitudinal assessment of the proportion of infants diagnosed as having bronchiolitis who received radiography in emergency departments (EDs) between 2007 and 2015 was performed.