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Reviewers: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 30 December 2011, last major update September 2011
Copyright: (c) 2003-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Also called rubeola
● Infectious acute febrile illness characterized by upper respiratory infection symptoms and maculopapular rash
● Spread by aerosols and droplets from respiratory secretions or rarely fomites
● Significant public health problem in United States prior to the development of an effective vaccine; still common in some non-industrialized countries
● Recently, recrudescence has occurred in developed world due to some parents refusing to vaccinate their children and importation (Cleve Clin J Med 2010;77:207)
● Highly infectious, affecting up to 90% of individuals in non-immune populations
● Also occurs in adults (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2011;60:666)
● Pneumonia is serious complication of childhood exanthema
● May cause bronchiolitis or diffuse alveolar damage
● Secondary bacterial pneumonia may occur

Micro description

● Epithelial giant cells with viral inclusions
● Nuclei may contain a single large Cowdry type A inclusion
● Reticuloendothelial (Warthin-Finkeldy) giant cells may be found in lymphoid tissue

Micro images

Giant cells

Virtual slides

Measles pneumonia


Measles pneumonia

Differential Diagnosis

● Other giant cell pneumonias, RSV, parainfluenza, pneumoconioses

End of Lung-nontumor > Infections > Measles

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