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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

Reviewers: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 21 September 2011, last major update September 2011
Copyright: (c) 2003-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

Clinical features

● Leading cause of lower respiratory tract infection in infants and young children (eMedicine)
● Often in children under 2 years old; may cause death in infants 1-6 months
● Usually self-limited infection in older children
● Infects respiratory epithelium, leading to acute inflammatory response with epithelial sloughing and diffuse alveolar damage in severe cases

Micro description

● Prominent airway obstruction (Mod Pathol 2007;20:108)
● Giant cells with inconspicuous, round, pink intracytoplasmic inclusions and acute inflammation
● Affects small bronchiole epithelium, type 1 and 2 pneumocytes, not basal cells
● Inflammation centered on bronchial and pulmonary arterioles, due to monocytes, T cells, neutrophils

Micro images

Giant cells


Various images

EM images

Transmission electron micrograph

End of Lung-nontumor > Infections > Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

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