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Case Reports in Pulmonology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8178129, 2 pages
Case Report

Endobronchial Cartilage Rupture: A Rare Cause of Lobar Collapse

University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43614, USA

Received 31 March 2016; Accepted 10 July 2016

Academic Editor: Filippo Luca Fimognari

Copyright © 2016 Osama Dasa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Endobronchial cartilage rupture is a rare clinical condition, which can present in patients with severe emphysema with sudden onset shortness of breath. We present a case of a 62-year-old male who presented to our emergency department with sudden onset shortness of breath. Chest X-ray showed lung hyperinflation and a right lung field vague small density. Chest Computed Tomography confirmed the presence of right middle lobe collapse. Bronchoscopy revealed partial right middle lobe atelectasis and an endobronchial cartilage rupture. Endobronchial cartilage rupture is a rare condition that can present as sudden onset shortness of breath due to lobar collapse in patients with emphysema and can be triggered by cough. Bronchoscopic findings include finding a collapsed lung lobe and a visible ruptured endobronchial cartilage. A high index of suspicion, chest imaging, and early bronchoscopy can aid in the diagnosis and help prevent complications.