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VOLUME 20 , ISSUE 7 ( 2016 ) > List of Articles


Tombs of Aspergillus: A missed cause of recurrent respiratory infections in allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis

Deepak Talwar, Onkar Kumar Jha, Charul Dabral

Keywords : Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, broncholithiasis, broncholiths

Citation Information : Talwar D, Jha OK, Dabral C. Tombs of Aspergillus: A missed cause of recurrent respiratory infections in allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Indian J Crit Care Med 2016; 20 (7):421-424.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.186228

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-02-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2016; The Author(s).


Broncholithiasis is an often overlooked condition and has been associated with symptoms such as cough, hemoptysis, and recurrent respiratory infections. The most common mechanism of a broncholith formation is the enlargement and subsequent erosion of a lymph node into an adjacent airway. Here, we describe this entity in a patient with advanced allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, with chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure, and with frequent infective exacerbations. These frequent exacerbations were initially attributed to the poor lung function of the patient and the inability to cough out the secretions. The diagnosis of broncholithiasis was eventually established on bronchoscopy, when the patient was intubated and mechanically ventilated. In this patient, the mixed broncholiths were not associated with mediastinal lymphadenopathy and with biopsy showing Aspergillus with no lymph node tissue indicating its bronchial origin. A high index of suspicion should be kept in patients with recurrent infective exacerbations of pulmonary diseases, especially when computed tomography images show calcifications in the vicinity of airways even in the absence of lymphadenopathy, as most of these can be treated with routine bronchoscopic interventions.

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