Aspergillus tracheobronchitis with Birt-Hogg-Dubè syndrome as a rare cause of chronic cough

BMC Pulm Med. 2022 Nov 16;22(1):420. doi: 10.1186/s12890-022-02136-2.


BACKGROUND: Aspergillus tracheobronchitis (ATB) is confined as a condition of chronic superficial infection of tracheobronchial tree. Its diagnosis is difficult due to atypical manifestations and low detective rate of Aspergillus thus far.

CASE PRESENTATION: Herein, we presented a 45-year-old male patient with a sole chronic productive cough for five years referred to our cough specialist clinic. Chest high-resolution computed tomography showed multiple lung cysts predominantly located in the subpleural lesions and near the mediastinum. Neither bacteria nor fungi were identified by sputum culture. However, metagenomic next-generation sequencing in sputum detected Aspergillus fumigatus DNA. The genetic testing of whole blood suggested the germline mutation of the tumor suppressor gene folliculin, supporting a diagnosis of Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome. His productive cough symptom significantly improved after receiving itraconazole treatment for 2 months. After discontinuation of antifungal treatment, there was no relapse for four months follow-up. A diagnosis of ATB with BHD syndrome was eventually established in this patient.

CONCLUSION: ATB should be considered in any patient with prolonged unexplained productive cough. Next-generation sequencing technologies may be useful to identify ATB which is uncommon and easily ignored in clinical practice.

PMID:36384555 | DOI:10.1186/s12890-022-02136-2

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