Mounier-Kuhn Syndrome: A Rare Cause of Bronchial Dilation

Tex Heart Inst J. 2011;38(2):194-6.


Mounier-Kuhn syndrome, or tracheobronchomegaly, is a rare clinical and radiologic condition characterized by marked tracheobronchial dilation and recurrent lower respiratory tract infections. Diagnosis is typically accomplished with the use of computed tomography and bronchoscopy, as well as pulmonary function testing. Patients may be asymptomatic; however, symptoms can range from minimal with preserved lung function to severe respiratory failure. Therapy, if any, is supportive but minimal. Surgery rarely has a place in the treatment of Mounier-Kuhn syndrome.Herein, we report the case of a 58-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who had a chronic cough, increased sputum production, and chest pain. Thoracic computed tomography showed tracheal dilation (diameter, 34 mm) and multiple diverticula in the posterior region of the trachea. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy revealed enlarged main bronchi, the dilated trachea, and prominent tracheal diverticula. Pulmonary function testing disclosed impaired respiratory function. Histopathologic examination of biopsy specimens from the bronchi and the tracheal wall supported the diagnosis of Mounier-Kuhn syndrome. The patient was released from the hospital and his condition was monitored for 2 years, during which time he developed no lower respiratory tract infections.Regardless of radiologic findings that suggest recurrent lower respiratory tract infection, we recommend that Mounier-Kuhn syndrome be considered in the differential diagnosis.

Keywords: Bronchoscopy; diagnosis, differential; lung/radiography; respiratory function tests; respiratory tract infections/etiology; tomography, X-ray computed;trachea/radiography; tracheal diseases; tracheobronchomegaly/diagnosis/physiopathology/radiography.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Bronchi / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Diseases / diagnosis
  • Bronchial Diseases / etiology*
  • Bronchial Diseases / physiopathology
  • Bronchography / methods
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Diverticulum / diagnosis
  • Diverticulum / etiology*
  • Diverticulum / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Recurrence
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Trachea / diagnostic imaging
  • Trachea / pathology*
  • Trachea / physiopathology
  • Tracheal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Tracheal Diseases / etiology*
  • Tracheal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Tracheobronchomegaly / complications*
  • Tracheobronchomegaly / diagnosis
  • Tracheobronchomegaly / physiopathology