Tracheobronchial obstruction due to silicosis

B. C. Cahill, K. R. Harmon, Sara J Shumway, J. K. Mickman, Marshall I Hertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-721
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


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