The Clinical Presentation and Immunology of Viral Pneumonia and Implications for Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019

Dijoia B. Darden, Russell B. Hawkins, Shawn D. Larson, Nicole M. Iovine, Donald S. Prough, Philip A. Efron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: This review will briefly examine the clinical presentation and important immunology of viral pneumonia with a focus on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (coronavirus disease 2019). Data Sources, Study Selection, Data Extraction, and Data Synthesis: The most relevant, original and review literature were assessed for inclusion in this review. Sources included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and PubMed. Conclusions: Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization and death worldwide, with viral etiologies being very common. Given the rapidly emerging pandemic associated with the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 causing coronavirus disease 2019, it is important to review the clinical presentation and immunologic changes associated with viral pneumonia. Symptoms of viral pneumonia include common respiratory tract infection symptoms of cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Immunologic changes include up-regulation of airway pro-inflammatory cytokines and pathogen- and damage-associated molecular patterns contributing to cytokine and genomic changes. Coronavirus disease 2019 clinical presentation is typical of viral pneumonia with an increased prevalence of early pulmonary infiltrates and lymphopenia. Principles of early coronavirus disease 2019 management and isolation as well as potential therapeutic approaches to the emerging pandemic are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E0109
JournalCritical Care Explorations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 10 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • coronavirus
  • immunology
  • influenza virus
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • viral pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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