Diagnosis and Treatment Evaluation of 48 Cases of Broncholithiasis

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Broncholithiasis is a rare disease with various clinical classifications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the imaging diagnosis and surgical treatment of broncholithiasis.

Methods and Materials

Forty-eight patients with broncholithiasis were enrolled in this retrospective study between January 1985 and December 2009. Patients were classified into intraluminal, transluminal, and extraluminal broncholith according to the anatomy between the calculus and the bronchial lumen confirmed by chest computed tomography (CT), bronchoscopy, and pathology after operation.


Forty-eight patients were enrolled, with 33 males and 15 females. The sex ratio (male:female) was 2.2:1, and average age was 54.3 ± 13.6 years. There were 8, 19, and 21 patients in intraluminal, transluminal, and extraluminal broncholith group, respectively. Cough, hemoptysis, and chest pain were the most common symptoms. Four patients with intraluminal broncholith and two with transluminal broncholith underwent broncholith removal via bronchoscopy, and the other 42 patients underwent thoracotomy.


Bronchoscopy combined with CT examination is helpful in diagnosing and typing broncholithiasis. An optimal treatment method, either bronchoscopic removal of broncholithiasis or thoracotomy, according to the clinical typing and indications, is the key to improve the treatment effect.

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