New study is first to identify, clarify MERS-related abnormality distribution on CT

Researchers in Saudi Arabia have identified key defining characteristics of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in CT imaging of patients confirmed as having the disease.

The study found that the most common CT finding in hospitalized patients with MERS infection is suggestive of an organizing pneumonia pattern.

"A few studies have described variable degrees of lung opacities in patients with MERS, but did not clearly address their exact distribution," said Amr M. Ajlan, the corresponding author of the study. "Because we evaluated the CT findings in this laboratory-confirmed group of MERS patients, we had the ability to better characterize the nature and distribution of the abnormalities."

Recognizing this pattern in acutely ill patients living in or traveling from endemic areas may help in the early diagnosis of MERS.

The study appears ahead of print online in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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