Infectious bronchiolitis

Infectious bronchiolitis refers to subtype of bronchiolitis where there is an definite infective precipitant. It falls under the subgroup in inflammatory bronchiolitides and by some authors is considered a type of cellular bronchiolitis 3. It tends to be more clinically severe in children than adults.


It is characterized histologically by a pattern of acute bronchiolar injury, with epithelial necrosis and inflammation of the bronchiolar walls and intraluminal exudates. There can also be edematous change and fibrosis within bronchiolar walls. 

  • viruses
  • bacterial species
  • mycobacterial species
  • fungal species, e.g. Aspergillus fumigatus, particularly in immunocompromised patients

Radiographic features

CT (HRCT) chest

Intense bronchiolar mural inflammation of cellular bronchiolitis results in centrilobular nodules that are usually associated with the tree-in-bud pattern 1. There can also be presence of bronchiolar wall thickening.

In some patients, consolidative changes or ground-glass attenuation may also be present 1

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Article information

rID: 19961
System: Chest
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Infective bronchiolitis
  • Post infectious bronchiolitis
  • Infectious bronchiolitides

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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