Bronchial muco-epidermoid carcinoma mimicking asthma symptoms in a boy

E. Battistini, B. Fregonese, V. Jasonni, A. Granata, P. Gianiorio, C. Gambini, G. A. Rossi, G. Gaslini

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A 8 year old child with a previous history of mild asthma was referred to us for the occurrence in the last months of cough and wheezing not responsive to beta-2 agonists and corticosteroids. A chest x-ray showed a zone of increased density in the left hemithorax along the spine, that the thorax CTscan demonstrated to correspond to the area occupied by the apical segment of the left lower lobe. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy revealed an endobronchial mass with a soft, jelly-like appearance, partially stenosing the origin of the left lower bronchus. While bronchoalveolar lavage and bronchial brushing were negative for cytological features of pulmonary malignancy, biopsy of the lesion was diagnostic for a low-grade muco-epidermoid carcinoma. This is a rare tumor in childhood, only 43 case reports being described in literature. The treatment is surgical and an early diagnosis can increase the chance of a selective procedure. The patient underwent a sleeve lobectomy and his pulmonary function tests three months after surgery demonstrated a well preserved forced vital capacity. The follow-up of the patient 8 months after the lobectomy shows no local recurrence of the tumor. We conclude that, although primary tumors of the lung are uncommon in pediatric age, they must be considered in the differential diagnosis of respiratory symptoms not responsive to usual medical therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321
Number of pages1
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue numberSUPPL. 16
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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