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Case Reports in Pulmonology publishes case reports and case series in all areas of pulmonology, prevention, diagnosis and management of pulmonary and associated disorders, as well as related molecular genetics, pathophysiology, and epidemiology.
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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae Misinterpreted as SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Background. In 2020, a novel coronavirus caused a global pandemic with a clinical picture termed COVID-19, accounting for numerous cases of ARDS. However, there are still other infectious causes of ARDS that should be considered, especially as the majority of these pathogens are specifically treatable. Case Presentation. We present the case of a 36-year-old gentleman who was admitted to the hospital with flu-like symptoms, after completing a half-marathon one week before admission. As infection with SARS-CoV-2 was suspected based on radiologic imaging, the hypoxemic patient was immediately transferred to the ICU, where he developed ARDS. Empiric antimicrobial chemotherapy was initiated, the patient deteriorated further, therapy was changed, and the patient was transferred to a tertiary care ARDS center. As cold agglutinins were present, the hypothesis of an infection with SARS-CoV-2 was then questioned. Bronchoscopic sampling revealed Mycoplasma (M.) pneumoniae. When antimicrobial chemotherapy was adjusted, the patient recovered quickly. Conclusion. Usually, M. pneumoniae causes mild disease. When antimicrobial chemotherapy was adjusted, the patient recovered quickly. The case underlines the importance to adhere to established treatment guidelines, scrutinize treatment modalities, and not to forget other potential causes of severe pneumonia or ARDS.
Combining Minimally Invasive Techniques in Managing a Frail Patient with Postpneumonectomy Bronchopleural Fistula
A postpneumonectomy bronchopleural fistula is a life-threatening complication requiring aggressive treatment and early repair. Reoperations are common due to initial treatment failure. Advanced bronchoscopic techniques are rapidly evolving, but permanent results are questionable. We report the minimally invasive management of a frail 79-year-old patient with postpneumonectomy fistula in respiratory failure due to repeated infections. Previous bronchoscopic closure attempts with fibrin failed. The multistep interdisciplinary management included airway surveillance by virtual bronchoscopy, percutaneous fibrin glue instillation under computed tomography, and awake thoracoscopic surgery to achieve temporary closure. This provided an acceptable long period of symptomatic and physical improvement. The bronchial stump failed again four months later, and the patient succumbed to pneumonia. Pneumonectomy has to be avoided unless strongly indicated. Complications are best managed with surgery for definite treatment. We emphasize our approach only when a patient declines surgery or is medically unfit as a temporary time-buying strategy in view of definite surgery in a high-volume center.
Croup Is One of the Clinical Manifestations of Novel Coronavirus in Children
The manifestations of novel coronavirus are diverse and can manifest through respiratory, gastrointestinal, and even nervous symptoms. Respiratory involvement is usually an upper tract infection or pneumonia but can also present as other forms of pulmonary disorders. A 3-year-old boy presented with cough, hoarseness, and stridor. He was treated with dexamethasone and nebulized adrenaline and a clinical diagnosis of croup was established. After treatment, his symptoms improved for a short time, but suddenly cough exacerbated and was accompanied by respiratory failure and seizures. He was then intubated and mechanically ventilated. Because of the coronavirus epidemic, Reverse-Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) assay was taken from the pharyngeal secretions and was positive. The child was isolated. Due to excessive respiratory secretions and worsening of the general condition, bronchoscopy was performed depicting an image compatible with bacterial tracheitis. He was treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics, antivirals, and supportive care. Finally, after 4 weeks of treatment, the child was discharged in good general condition. Croup is one of the respiratory symptoms of novel coronavirus and can be a risk factor for bacterial tracheitis. Therefore, the presence of clinical manifestations of croup indicates the need for coronavirus PCR testing.
Asymptomatic Lymphocytic Interstitial Pneumonia with Extensive HRCT Changes Preceding Sjogren’s Syndrome
Lymphocytic interstitial pneumonia (LIP) is a rare condition, commonly associated with Sjogren’s syndrome (SS). We report a 53-year-old woman with an incidental finding of an abnormal chest radiograph. LIP was diagnosed based on high-resolution computed tomography and lung biopsy, but treatment was not initiated. Six years later, she developed cough and dyspnoea, associated with dry eyes, dry mouth, and arthralgia. While being investigated for the respiratory symptoms, she developed cutaneous vasculitis and was treated with 1 mg/kg prednisolone, which resulted in the improvement of her respiratory symptoms. Physical examination revealed fine bibasal crepitations, active vasculitic skin lesions, and a positive Schirmer’s test. Investigations revealed a restrictive pattern in the pulmonary function test, stable LIP pattern in HRCT, and positive anti-Ro antibodies. She was treated with prednisolone and azathioprine for 18 months, and within this time, she was hospitalised for flare of LIP, as well as respiratory tract infection on three occasions. During the third flare, when she also developed cutaneous vasculitis, she agreed for prednisolone but refused other second-line agents. To date, she remained well with the maintenance of prednisolone 2.5 mg monotherapy for more than one year. The lessons from this case are (i) patients with LIP can be asymptomatic, (ii) LIP can precede symptoms of SS, and (iii) treatment decision for asymptomatic patients with abnormal imaging or patients with mild severity should be weighed between the risk of immunosuppression and risk of active disease.
Pulmonary Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Presenting as a Solitary Pulmonary Nodule on a Lung Cancer Screening CT
Pulmonary Langerhans cell histiocytosis (PLCH) is a rare inflammatory condition that mostly affects lungs in smokers. On imaging, it usually presents as multiple, upper lobe predominant, solid, and cavitary nodules, but presentation as solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN) is rare. We describe a case of SPN seen on low-dose lung cancer screening CT (LDCT) that was FDG avid on PET/CT. Given concern for malignancy, lobectomy was planned if intraoperative frozen section was consistent with malignancy. Lobectomy was performed based on frozen section; however, on formal pathology review, the nodule was ultimately found to be PLCH. This case illustrates an atypical presentation of PLCH as a solitary nodule. Furthermore, it helps demonstrate how rare etiologies (like PLCH) may be more frequently encountered and should be considered in the differential diagnosis for solitary lung nodules, especially in the era of lung cancer screening.
Interstitial Emphysema as a Rare Radiographic Presentation of Bronchial Dehiscence after Lung Transplant
Airway complications after lung transplantation are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Bronchial dehiscence presents within a month of lung transplantation and is typically diagnosed radiographically as a sentinel gas pocket at the anastomotic site and confirmed with bronchoscopy. A 66-year-old man with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis who underwent a right lung transplantation 4 weeks prior developed chest pain with palpable crepitus over his right chest wall. A chest X-ray revealed subcutaneous emphysema and a small right-sided pneumothorax. Computed tomography (CT) of the thorax without contrast revealed a gas pocket at the anastomotic site in the mediastinum as well as interstitial emphysema around the proximal bronchi of the right lung that had worsened when compared to CT from 11 days prior. A review of prior CT demonstrated interstitial emphysema without evidence of a sentinel gas pocket. These findings suggest that interstitial emphysema was the initial radiographic manifestation of the bronchial anastomotic site dehiscence. Interstitial emphysema is typically self-limiting, but severe cases can lead to major complications. Interstitial emphysema outside of the immediate postoperative period should be recognized as a possible early radiographic sign of bronchial dehiscence in lung transplant patients with vigilant monitoring of potential complications and strong consideration for early bronchoscopic investigation.