Metaplastic ossification in the cartilage of the bronchus of a patient with chronic multi-drug resistant tuberculosis: A case report

Seok Yong Eum, Ji Hye Kong, Bo Young Jeon, Sang Nae Cho, Jhingook Kim, Laura E. Via, Clifton E. Barry, Won Jung Koh

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Introduction. Pulmonary ossification has been rarely observed in pulmonary fibrosis and in some chronic respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We report here a metaplastic ossification in the bronchial cartilage of a patient with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Case presentation. We report the case of a 41-year-old Asian man from Korea with chronic multi-drug resistant tuberculosis with a rare focus of bone formation from the cartilage of a bronchus subtending an active cavity. The patient had a large multi-lobed, thick-walled cavitary tuberculosis lesion in his left upper lobe. Severe infiltration of his lymphocytes and epithelioid cells, along with some giant cells and neutrophils, was observed in the patient's bronchial wall. Desquamated bronchial epithelium and acid-fast bacilli were found inside his bronchus. A small focus of bony metaplasia was found in the cartilage of his bronchial wall. Histopathological examination confirmed calcification and showed hematopoietic cells forming in his marrow cavity. Conclusions. Chronic inflammation in the lungs of our patient, caused by underlying tuberculosis, probably played a role in the development of osseous metaplasia from the associated cartilage of the bronchial wall.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, NIAID and by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust through the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative. We appreciate the technical comments of Dr Isamu Sugawara of the Research Institute of Tuberculosis in Japan.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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