Endobronchial actinomycosis simulating bronchogenic carcinoma. Diagnosis by bronchial biopsy

Chest. 1991 Feb;99(2):493-5. doi: 10.1378/chest.99.2.493.


Five cases of actinomycosis of the main bronchi or trachea which were suggestive clinically of bronchogenic carcinoma are described. In four patients the correct diagnosis was made by a bronchial biopsy or wash, or both. Three of them recovered following antibiotic treatment, and one died a few days after bronchoscopy. In one case the Actinomyces were found in the bronchial wash retrospectively following diagnosis of pulmonary actinomycosis in the lobectomy specimen. A concomitant endobronchial lipoma was found in one of the patients. The diagnosis of pulmonary actinomycosis by bronchial biopsy may save the patient major surgical intervention.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Actinomycosis / diagnosis*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy*
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Bronchial Diseases / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / diagnosis*
  • Trachea / pathology