Concurrent aspergillosis and cystic pulmonary metastases in a patient with tongue squamous cell carcinoma
Open Med (Wars). 2022 Jul 20;17(1):1325-1329. doi: 10.1515/med-2022-0527. eCollection 2022.
Pulmonary Aspergillus infection may have a variety of manifestations depending on the patients’ immunity status and pre-existing lung conditions. Radiographically, aspergilloma, which is usually associated with noninvasive Aspergillus fumigatus conidia, may feature a characteristic mass in a cavity commonly located in the upper lobes of the lung. It is typically encountered upon pre-existing lung damage. Here we report Aspergillus growing in a pulmonary metastatic cavity in a 47-year-old male worker with a history of tongue cancer after a radical operation with neck dissection and concurrent chemotherapy in 2014. Chest radiography and computed tomography showed a cavitary lesion with a ball-in-hole lesion in the right upper lobe (RUL) and two cystic lesions within the bilateral upper lung field. Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial biopsy (EBUS-TBB) from the RUL anterior segmental bronchus (RB3) revealed the presence of Aspergillus conidia and squamous cell carcinoma. Wedge resection of the cystic lesion within the left upper lobe confirmed the diagnosis of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma. This is a rare case of aspergillosis within cavities of pulmonary metastases in a patient who was diagnosed with tongue squamous cell carcinoma. The conclusive distinction between neoplasm and fungal infection is difficult to achieve by radiography, and a pathological biopsy by EBUS-TBB is necessary to aid diagnosis. Clinicians should be aware of such an atypical presentation of metastases coexisting with Aspergillus infection.