A Novel Presentation of Mycobacterium Avium Complex in a Recipient of a Lung Transplant

A Case Report

Leah Cohen; Jeannette Guarner; William R. Hunt


J Med Case Reports. 2017;11(240) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background Lung transplantation remains an important potential therapeutic option for end-stage lung disease. It can improve quality of life and in some cases be a life-lengthening therapy. Despite the possible benefits, there are also many potential complications following transplantation. Here we describe a novel presentation of nontuberculous mycobacterium manifesting as an endobronchial mass developing 4 years after lung transplantation.

Case presentation A 66-year-old African-American woman presented with progressive dyspnea, cough, and persistent wheezing of 2 months' duration. She had a distant history of breast cancer and received bilateral lung transplantation due to end-stage pulmonary fibrosis 4 years prior to her current presentation. She denied fevers, but did endorse night sweats. She had diffuse expiratory wheezing on auscultation. Chest computed tomography imaging showed an endobronchial soft tissue lesion nearly occluding the left mainstem bronchus, which was concerning for endobronchial carcinoma. Rigid bronchoscopy demonstrated a fibrinous mass protruding into the left mainstem proximal to the anastomosis. A pathology report noted fragments of partially necrotic granulation tissue in addition to scant fragments of focally ulcerated bronchial mucosa. Both the tissue culture and bronchial wash stained positively for acid-fast bacilli and grew Mycobacterium avium complex.

Conclusions Nontuberculous mycobacterium pulmonary disease is common post lung transplant and risk factors are related to immunosuppression and history of structural lung disease. Mycobacterium avium complex presenting as an endobronchial lesion in a patient post lung transplant is a novel presentation.