Human metapneumovirus pulmonary infection

Last revised by Travis Fahrenhorst-Jones on 24 Apr 2022

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) pulmonary infection is a recently detected condition reported to cause mild to severe respiratory tract infection, particularly in children, immunocompromised patients, and the elderly 6.


Human metapneumovirus (HMPV), is an RNA virus and was first described in 2001. It is a common pathogen and can cause acute viral respiratory tract infections in all age groups.

IgG antibodies against HMPV have been detected in up to 100% of persons with reinfection being common 1.

Radiographic features

Chest x-ray

Changes can be nonspecific and be of a variable pattern. In children according to one study 2:

  • parahilar / peri-bronchovascular opacities were the most commonly observed abnormality (87% of children with HMPV).
  • lungs may also hyperinflated
  • atelectasis (40%) and consolidation (18%) have been less frequently described. 

Nonspecific changes with ground-glass opacity have been the most commonly reported findings with nodular consolidation described in a lesser number of patients 3

Involvement can often be bilateral.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: in an infant
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