In reviewing chest CTs and thin-section CT images of 12 patients with influenza A H7N9 virus infection, two chest radiologists identified a number of findings that differentiate H7N9 pneumonia from other types of the disease, including rapidly progressive changes in the lungs and pulmonary connective tissues, according to research results in the journal Radiology.
The specific imaging findings included ground-glass opacity, in all 12 patients and consolidations, air bronchograms, and interlobular septal thickening in 11 patients. Lung lesions involved three or more lobes in all cases, but were mostly detected in the right lower lobe.

“The severity of these findings is associated with the severity of the clinical condition of the patients,” said study co-author Zhiyong Zhang, MD, PhD, from the Department of Radiology at Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University in China. “The distribution and very rapid progression of consolidations, ground-glass opacity, and air bronchograms, with interstitial changes, in H7N9 pneumonia help differentiate it from other causes of pneumonia.”