Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Human Herpesvirus Alpha Subfamily (Herpes Simplex and Varicella Zoster) Viral Pneumonias

CT Findings

Hammer, Mark M., MD; Gosangi, Babina, MBBS, MPH; Hatabu, Hiroto, MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/RTI.0000000000000364

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate CT features of pneumonias caused by the alpha Herpesviruses, herpes simplex virus (HSV), and varicella-zoster virus (VZV).

Materials and Methods: By searching the electronic medical record from 2005 to 2017, we identified 12 patients with HSV and 15 with VZV pneumonia. Four patients with coinfection were excluded from imaging analysis. Two radiologists reviewed computed tomography scans (CTs) for findings including ground glass and nodules. CTs were assigned to a predominant pattern of crazy paving, nodular, or other.

Results: The most common risk factor was hematologic malignancy, present in 58% of HSV and 47% of VZV patients. Crazy paving was seen in 50% of HSV and 31% of VZV cases; a nodular pattern was present in 20% of HSV and 69% of VZV patients (P=0.03).

Conclusions: Most patients with alpha Herpesvirus pneumonias demonstrated either a crazy paving or nodular pattern on CT. The nodular pattern was significantly more common in VZV than in HSV. Radiologists should consider these rare infections when evaluating immunocompromised patients with these imaging patterns.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence to: Mark M. Hammer, MD, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115 (e-mail:

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved