This study assessed the clinical value of routine follow-up chest radiographs in hospitalized children with community-acquired pneumonia. The study population consisted of 196 children hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia diagnosed between 1993-1995. Seventeen infective agents (10 viruses and 7 bacteria) were sought. Chest radiographs were taken on admission and 3-7 weeks later. All children were treated with antibiotics. Data on the course of illness over the following 8-10 years were obtained from patient files and questionnaires sent to parents. A potential causative agent was found in 165 (84%) of 196 cases. On follow-up chest radiographs, residual or new changes were seen in 30% of cases. The residual changes tended to be more common after mixed viral-bacterial infection (43%) than after sole viral (25%) or sole bacterial (20%) infection. Interstitial infiltrates (66%), atelectasis (46%), and enlarged lymph nodes were the most common sequelae seen on follow-up. Residual findings on follow-up radiographs did not affect the treatment of the children. No further chest radiographs were taken. During the 8-10-year follow-up of 194 children, no illnesses appeared that were associated with previous pneumonia. Twenty-six children had a new episode of pneumonia, 7 of them had asthma, and 6 had different underlying illnesses. In conclusion, routine follow-up chest radiographs are not needed in childhood community-acquired pneumonia if the child has a clinically uneventful recovery.