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Emerg Radiol. 2010 Jul;17(4):299-307. doi: 10.1007/s10140-010-0859-x. Epub 2010 Jan 29.

Thoracic CT findings of novel influenza A (H1N1) infection in immunocompromised patients.

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  • 1Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, 505 Parnassus Avenue, P. O. Box 0628, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA.


The goal of this study is to describe the spectrum of initial and follow-up CT findings of novel influenza A (H1N1) infection in a series of immunocompromised patients. Eight immunocompromised patients with documented novel influenza A (H1N1) had CT imaging at our institution between May 2009 and August 2009. A total of 20 CTs (initial and follow-up) were reviewed for the presence, severity, and distribution of the following: ground glass opacity, consolidation, interlobular septal thickening, mosaic perfusion, airway wall thickening, airway dilatation, nodules, cysts, pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, lymphadenopathy, and air trapping. The most common findings were airway thickening/dilatation, peribronchial ground glass opacity, centrilobular nodules, and tree-in-bud opacities. Peripheral consolidation involving the lower lobes was also a common pattern. Findings frequently involved all lobes and were closely associated with either large or small airways. Two patients presented with atypical CT findings including focal lobar consolidation and patchy lower lobe consolidation with soft tissue centrilobular nodules. Most survivors showed near complete resolution of findings within 35 days. CT scans in immunocompromised patients with novel influenza H1N1 commonly show a strong airway predominance of findings or peripheral areas of consolidation involving the lower lobes. A subset of patients with novel influenza A (H1N1) will show findings not typical of viral infection.

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