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Viral pneumonia after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: high-resolution CT findings.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the treatment of choice for many hematologic malignancies and nonmalignant disorders of bone marrow function. Pulmonary infections from bacterial, fungal, and viral organisms are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients after HSCT. The radiographic and high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings of the different lower respiratory tract viral infections are quite similar. Findings of viral pneumonia on HRCT include small poorly defined centrilobular nodules and patchy, often bilateral, areas of peribronchial ground-glass opacity and consolidation. Air trapping may be present because of associated bronchiolitis. Interlobular septal thickening, bronchial wall thickening, and tree-in-bud opacities may also be present. Advanced viral pneumonia with diffuse alveolar damage is characterized by patchy or confluent consolidation and ground-glass opacities. Although nonspecific, in the correct clinical setting, these HRCT findings can help suggest the diagnosis of viral pneumonia in recipients of HSCT.

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