A 24-year-old woman with recurrent Hodgkin's lymphoma, stage IIB nodular sclerosing type, underwent an autologous bone marrow transplantation. Forty- five days after transplantation, an upper respiratory tract infection developed that progressed to respiratory distress necessitating mechanical ventilation. An open-lung biopsy demonstrated diffuse alveolar damage. After an extensive search for the cause of the respiratory compromise, we detected respiratory syncytial virus in a bronchoalveolar lavage specimen. The patient was immediately treated with aerosolized ribavirin and intravenous immunoglobulin; her symptoms resolved, and she was extubated 4 days after initiation of therapy.
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