Respiratory Syncytial Virus Pneumonia

  • Etiology: 1) respiratory syncytial virus infection -> 2) disease of airways / airway inflammation -> bronchial wall thickening -> ball-valve effect -> air trapping, 3) increased mucous production -> mucous plugs
  • Imaging: airway thickening, hyperinflation = flattened diaphragm, shifting subsegmental atelectasis from mucous plugs
  • DDX: viral pneumonia, congenital heart disease
  • Complications: bacterial superinfection, ~ 25% go on to develop reactive airway disease / asthma

Cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Pneumonia

CXR of viral pneumonia with a bacterial suprainfection
CXR shows diffuse airway thickening and hyperexpansion along with an infiltrate obscuring the right heart border and the medial hemidiaphragms bilaterally.
CXR of respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia
CXR PA and lateral shows airway thickening and lung hyperexpansion with flattening of the hemidiaphragms.