[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 1975

Herpetic Tracheobronchitis: Cytologic and Virologic Detection

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pathology (Drs. Jordan and Crosby) and microbiology (Dr. McLaren), School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Arch Intern Med. 1975;135(6):784-788. doi:10.1001/archinte.1975.00330060028003

Tracheobronchitis due to herpes simplex virus is a well-recognized finding in cases of burns, debilitation, or immunosuppression. Nearly all reported cases have been diagnosed at necropsy despite the possibility for clinical detection of such infections by exfoliative cytological studies, virus isolation and identification, or both.

The present report details the cytologic and virologic diagnosis of herpetic tracheobronchitis in a patient with carcinoma of the lung and alcoholic fatty liver.

Respiratory cells with herpetic infection cytologically showed less tendency to multinucleation than the characteristic herpes-infected cells of squamous epithelium, which may be a source of diagnostic confusion.