Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pneumonia revealed in a cough: Coughs give vital clues to the presence or absence of pneumonia in children

Date:
June 27, 2013
Source:
Springer
Summary:
A new method, which analyzes the sounds in a child's cough, could soon be used in poor, remote regions to diagnose childhood pneumonia reliably. According to researchers, this simple technique of recording coughs with a microphone on the patient's bedside table, has the potential to revolutionize the management of childhood pneumonia.

A new method, which analyzes the sounds in a child's cough, could soon be used in poor, remote regions to diagnose childhood pneumonia reliably. According to Udantha Abeyratne from the University of Queensland in Australia and colleagues, this simple technique of recording coughs with a microphone on the patient's bedside table, has the potential to revolutionize the management of childhood pneumonia in remote regions around the world.

Related Articles


Their work is published online in Springer's journal Annals of Biomedical Engineering.

Pneumonia is the leading killer of young children around the world. Since it is largely a disease of poverty, the vast majority of deaths occur in resource-poor regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and remote areas of China. The lack of laboratory testing facilities and trained healthcare personnel in these regions mean difficulties in the timely diagnosis and adequate treatment of childhood pneumonia.

At the moment, community workers in these regions use the World Health Organization's simple clinical algorithm to diagnose pneumonia. However there are some limitations, including the high rate of false positive results which lead to over-prescription of rare antibiotic stocks.

Abeyratne and team's work identifies an easy-to-use alternative that addresses these challenges, in the form of new technology which analyzes cough sounds to diagnose pneumonia. Indeed, cough is a main symptom of pneumonia and carries vital information on the lower respiratory tract -- consolidation of the lungs and secretions in particular. These markers of infection alter the acoustic properties of coughs helping to identify pneumonia-specific features.

The researchers analyzed 815 cough events recorded from a total of 91 hospitalized children with and without pneumonia, at the Sardjito Hospital of Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia. Cough sounds were collected by microphones placed on nearby bedside tables. Coughs were classified as either pneumonic or non-pneumonic. The researchers used the overall clinical diagnosis provided by pediatric respiratory clinicians -- aided with routine diagnostic technologies -- to validate the sound analysis. From the analysis of cough sounds alone, this new technique was able to identify pneumonia cases with over 90 percent sensitivity, meaning that it identifies most patients who actually have pneumonia. In addition, it did so with a low false positive rate, outperforming the existing WHO algorithm for resource-poor regions.

The authors conclude: "Our results indicate the feasibility of taking a cough-centered approach to the diagnosis of childhood pneumonia in resource-poor regions. The technology, in its simplest version, will require between 5-10 cough sounds and will automatically and immediately provide a diagnosis without requiring physical contact with patients. Such a system, if successful, is expected to be a paradigm-shifting novelty in the field of pneumonia diagnosis in remote regions."

The researchers acknowledge the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA, for funding this research under its Grand Challenges in Global Health Explorations grant scheme.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Udantha R. Abeyratne, Vinayak Swarnkar, Amalia Setyati, Rina Triasih. Cough Sound Analysis Can Rapidly Diagnose Childhood Pneumonia. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10439-013-0836-0

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Pneumonia revealed in a cough: Coughs give vital clues to the presence or absence of pneumonia in children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627125327.htm>.
Springer. (2013, June 27). Pneumonia revealed in a cough: Coughs give vital clues to the presence or absence of pneumonia in children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627125327.htm
Springer. "Pneumonia revealed in a cough: Coughs give vital clues to the presence or absence of pneumonia in children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130627125327.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins