Medical imaging may help researchers understand the pathogenesis of H1N1 virus

October 13, 2009

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found that imaging can now be used as a tool for identifying severe cases of H1N1 and may play a key role in understanding the pathogenesis of the virus, possibly leading to earlier diagnoses of severe cases in the future, according to a study published online today in the American Journal of Roentgenology. The study will be published in the December issue of AJR.

Imaging revealed a severe case of H1N1 after a patient had tested negative using a nasal swab rapid antigen test. Radiography (standard X-ray) showed peripheral lung opacities, and computed tomography (CT) revealed peripheral ground-glass opacities. Both findings raised suspicion of H1N1 and reports revealed that the patient later died from a severe case of H1N1.

"The role of radiologic imaging in epidemic detection and response is evolving, with imaging being used as a tool for identifying severe cases," said Daniel J. Mollura, M.D., lead author of the study. "At the Center for Infectious Disease Imaging (CIDI) at the NIH, the study of influenza is a priority with a focus on achieving early diagnosis and understanding its pathogenesis," he said.

"Early CT may help clinicians recognize cases of severe influenza and monitor response to treatment. More cases will certainly need to be analyzed and compared in the future, but this is a promising early result," said Dr. Mollura.
-end-
This study is now posted online at www.ajronline.org and will appear in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. For a copy of the full study, please contact Heather Curry via email at hcurry@acr-arrs.org or at 703-390-9822.



About ARRS

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the X-ray in 1895.

American College of Radiology

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