Tracheobronchopathia osteochondroplastica

Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 Apr;23(2):167-75. doi: 10.1055/s-2002-25305.


Tracheobronchopathia osteochondroplastica (TPO) is an uncommon benign disease of unknown etiology characterized by multiple cartilaginous or bony submucosal nodules, which project into the tracheobronchial lumen. The nodules originate in the airway cartilages and thus typically spare the posterior membranous wall of the airways. The disorder is more common in men and the diagnosis is usually made in the fourth through sixth decades of life. There is no relationship to smoking or other systemic disorders. The disease is manifested by chronic cough and wheezing, which frequently lead to the mistaken diagnosis of asthma. Other pulmonary symptoms include dyspnea and hemoptysis. One of the complications is the increased incidence of recurrent respiratory infections. The pulmonary symptoms and complications are the consequence of narrowing and thickening of the airway walls. Even though roentgenologic imaging studies may indicate the diagnosis, bronchoscopy is the most definitive diagnostic test. The bronchoscopic appearance alone is diagnostic of the disease, and biopsy of the airway lesions is seldom, if ever, required. Although there is no specific therapy for this disorder, management of tracheobronchopathia osteochondroplastica includes bronchodilators, prompt treatment of pulmonary infections, and bronchoscopic dilatation when indicated.