Which virus-specific lab studies are used for the diagnosis of herpes simplex virus (HSV) pneumonia?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Answer

HSV pneumonia can be confirmed in the appropriate host (ie, a severely immunocompromised patient) using lower respiratory tract viral culture (preferably bronchoscopy specimen) and histology of pulmonary tissue showing multinucleated giant cells. Antigen detection and PCR of sputa are overly sensitive (false positives), and serologies are not useful for this type of pneumonia.


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