Granulomatous Bronchiolitis Associated with Crohn's Disease

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Abstract

Symptomatic bronchopulmonary disorders have been only occasionally reported in Crohn's disease, although several studies have documented the possibility of latent involvement of the respiratory tract. We report the case of a patient with long-standing Crohn's disease who presented with acute transient chest pain and a recent history of mild dyspnea and nonproductive cough. Chest radiographs were normal, while high-resolution computed tomography demonstrated a mosaic pattern of attenuation that was consistent with a bronchiolar disorder. Pulmonary function tests showed mild airway obstruction and normal diffusion indices. Thoracoscopic lung biopsy demonstrated focal infiltration of the bronchiolar walls by mononuclear cells and non-necrotizing granulomas. To our knowledge, this is the first account of isolated granulomatous bronchiolitis in Crohn's disease. These findings suggest that a granulomatous inflammatory process of the bronchioles could be involved in the development of airway obstruction in patients with Crohn's disease.

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