Tracheobronchial obstruction due to silicosis

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 Mar;145(3):719-21. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/145.3.719.


Broncholithiasis can result in airway obstruction through the erosion of calcified lymph nodes into the bronchial lumen or by extrinsic compression of the tracheobronchial tree. We report an unusual case of broncholithiasis in a patient with silicosis who developed airway obstruction from endobronchial polypoid masses of granulation tissue adjacent to calcified mediastinal lymph nodes. The production of granulation tissue may have been the result of broncholiths in the early stages of erosion into the tracheobronchial tree. Efforts to ablate the endobronchial polyps using YAG laser phototherapy were only temporarily successful and surgical removal of the calcified mediastinal lymph nodes was required to halt further polyp growth. Surgical specimens grew Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare (MAI), a common pathogen in patients with silicosis. MAI may have contributed to the local inflammatory milieu provoking the exuberant tissue response.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnostic imaging
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology*
  • Airway Obstruction / pathology
  • Biopsy
  • Bronchi / pathology
  • Bronchial Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchial Diseases / etiology*
  • Bronchial Diseases / pathology
  • Calcinosis / complications
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Radiography
  • Silicosis / complications*
  • Silicosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Silicosis / pathology
  • Trachea / pathology
  • Tracheal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Tracheal Diseases / etiology*
  • Tracheal Diseases / pathology