Which histologic findings are characteristic of varicella-zoster, measles, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonias?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Varicella-zoster pneumonia shows focal necrosis, consolidation, a mononuclear infiltrate, and intranuclear inclusion bodies.

Measles pneumonia has been called Hecht giant cell pneumonia because a predominantly interstitial infiltrate with mononuclear cells and multinucleated giant cells is present on histology.

CMV pneumonia histopathology demonstrates typical cytomegalic cells with intranuclear and cytoplasmic inclusions. Histopathologic examination of lung tissue shows mononuclear interstitial infiltrates, thickened alveolar walls, fibrinous exudates, and hemorrhage. The cells containing inclusion bodies can be difficult to detect in mild cases.

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