Viral bronchiolitis

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 16 May 2021

Viral bronchiolitis (plural: bronchiolitides) refers to a bronchiolitis secondary to viral etiology.


Viral bronchiolitis is due to viral infection of airways which results in inflammation and peribronchial edema. This can then result in occlusion of the small airways leading to hyperinflation and subsegmental atelectasis. Children are more susceptible due to their smaller airways.


Common causative viruses include:

  • respiratory syncytial virus (RSV): 60-70%
  • human metapneumovirus (hMPV): 5-15%
  • adenovirus types 3, 7, 21
  • rhinovirus
  • parainfluenza virus

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph / CT

May show

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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