How Long Is Too Long? Trials and Tribulations of an Indolent Tumor

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A 31-year-old African American man presented for workup of a right hilar and tracheal mass. Stability of the mass when compared with a computed tomographic scan performed 3 years prior suggested an indolent process. On bronchoscopy, there were 2 separate although morphologically similar endobronchial lesions, one in the distal trachea and the second at the level of the right upper lobe bronchus. Biopsies of both lesions demonstrated granular cell tumors. Subsequent rigid bronchoscopy with ablation led to resolution of wheeze, decrease in dyspnea, and documented improvements in both ventilation and perfusion to the right lung. This case illustrates both a rare disease (multifocal endobronchial granular cell tumor) and the physiological impact of reducing large airway obstruction.

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