Study shows progress of H7N9 in human respiratory system
The results of the study were published in the journal Radiology and show how the H7N9 virus is different from other respiratory infections, like pneumonia, in the way it quickly and progressively changes in the lungs and pulmonary connective tissues.
"The severity of these findings is associated with the severity of the clinical condition of the patients," Zhiyong Zhang, the co-author of the study, said.
H7N9 is a recently discovered subtype of the avian influenza virus. Cases of H7N9 come from close contact with infected avian species, including chickens, ducks and pigeons.
The first reported outbreak of H7N9 was in China in March 2013. H7N9 can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome, organ failure and death.
In the study, Zhang and his colleagues looked at the clinical date of patients that had H7N9. In the x-rays taken of the patients, the researchers found ground-glass opacity in all 12 patients, consolidations in 11 patients, air bronchograms in 11 patients and interlobular septal thickening in 11 patients.
"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," Zhang said.