Cytomegalovirus pulmonary infection

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia is a type of viral pneumonitis and occurs due to infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is a member of the Herpetoviridae family.

CMV infection is particularly important in those who are immunocompromised (e.g. those with AIDS / allogenic bone marrow transplantation 3). In recipients of hematopoietic cell transplantations, the incidence of CMV can be around 20-35% 8

A major biological characteristic of CMV (as with other herpes viruses) is its ability to become latent in the human host and therefore the potential for reactivation.

Findings on chest radiographs are usually non-specific.

CT findings are non-specific and diverse and have been described without distinction between AIDS and non-AIDS patients. Commonly described findings include:

  • mixed alveolar-interstitial infiltrative opacification
  • small pulmonary nodules 4,7
    • nodules tend to have bilateral symmetrical distribution and involve all zones 6
  • confluent consolidation 1
    • may be more marked towards the lower lobes 6
  • bronchiectasis 1
  • interstitial reticulation without air space opacification 1,4

Other described features include:

The imaging differential is broad but in the immunosuppressed population consider:

Share article

Article information

rID: 27863
System: Chest
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • CMV pneumonitis
  • Cytomegalovirus pneumonia
  • Cytomegalovirus pneumonitis
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonitis
  • Cytomegalovirus pulmonary infection
  • Cytomegalovirus pulmonary infections
  • CMV pneumonia

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.