Nihon Kokyuki Gakkai Zasshi. 2008 Aug;46(8):655-9. [Link]

Okuda M, Kashio M, Tanaka N, Masuno T, Kamei J, Tsuyuguchi I.

Osaka Hospital, Anti-Tuberculosis Association, Osaka Branch.


We report a case of non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis (NTM) with pleurisy in a 75-year-old man. The patient was admitted with a diagnosis of pneumonia. Chest radiography and CT scans revealed a tumorous shadow that increased rapidly in size despite treatment with antibiotics. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) disclosed numerous asbestos bodies, suggesting dense exposure and pulmonary silicosis. The tumorous chest shadow remained undiagnosed. Repeated microscopic examination of sputum and BALF revealed no acidophilic-bacilli. Diagnostic pneumonectomy was performed to further explore the nature of the tumorous shadow on chest radiography. Ziehl-Neelsen staining of excised lung tissue disclosed no acid-bacilli; however, the washed fluid of the tissue specimen showed acid-fast bacilli that were subsequently verified as M. avium by in vitro culture. The X-ray findings in our case were not consistent with NTM or specific for disease due to asbestos inhalation. A final diagnosis of NTM was confirmed via open biopsy of the lung. Our case suggests that in addition to tuberculosis, NTM should be taken into consideration as a complication of silicosis.