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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 9, Issue 6, Pages 431-432
Exposé de Cas

Histiocytosis X and Bronchopulmonary Adenocarcinoma: A Rare Coexistence

Akýn Kaya,1 Ýsmail Savas,1 Elif Pen,1 Serpil Dizbay Sak,2 Adem Gungor,3 and Uður Gonullu1

1Service de Pneumologie de l’Hôpital Universitaire d’Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
2Département de Pathologie de l’Hôpital Universitaire d’Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
3Service de la Chirurgie du Thorax de l’Hôpital Universitaire d’Ankara, Ankara, Turkey

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


There exists a rarely observed association between pulmonary histiocytosis X and bronchopulmonary cancer. However, the frequency of bronchopulmonary cancer in these patients is higher than in the general population. A 28-year-old patient who currently smokes ten packs of cigarettes a year came to our department of pneumology with complains of cough and hemoptysis. An x-ray of the thorax revealed bilateral cysts and a shadow in the upper part of the right pulmonary field. In addition, a chest tomography showed multiple cysts dispersed throughout the two pulmonary fields and an irregular mass with a diameter of four centimetres in the upper right lobe. Bronchopulmonary adenocarcinoma was diagnosed during a cytologic exam of the bronchial washing. We decided to perform a thoracotomy on the patient, since there was no far metastasis. An upper lobectomy and wedge resection of the upper segment of the lower right lobe, which had been invaded by the tumour, were performed. Histology confirmed the diagnosis of adenocarcinoma. A pulmonary biopsy was carried out on the tumour-free site and showed the presence of histiocytosis X. There is a hypothesis that a neoplasm developed on the pulmonary fibrosis could be an epiphenomenon of bronchopulmonary cancer in patients who smoke and have pulmonary histiocytosis X. It is interesting to note that histiocytosis X and bronchopulmonary cancer were diagnosed at the same time, since the bronchopulmonary cancer may have occurred within a few years following the diagnosis of histiocytosis X, even if she was a smoker. Hemoptysis, which is found in 5% of patients with histiocytosis X, may suggest cancer. This young patient, a smoker, who complained of hemoptysis, is a particularly rare case of the association between pulmonary histiocytosis X and bronchopulmonary cancer whose pathogenesis is not clear cut. It is thus important to note that smoking can have major consequences, even in young people.