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J Bronchology Interv Pulmonol. 2012 Jul;19(3):220-3. doi: 10.1097/LBR.0b013e31825ceef8.

Glomus tumor of the trachea.

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  • 1Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. emily.norder@osumc.edu


Glomus tumors are uncommon soft tissue tumors that usually occur in the hands or feet but rarely have been described to appear in the tracheobronchial tree. Tracheal glomus tumors present with symptoms including cough, dyspnea, and wheezing that may be mistaken for other pulmonary disorders. Imaging and pulmonary function testing can detect tracheal obstruction, but pathology is necessary to differentiate glomus tumors from other airway tumors. On pathology, glomus tumors are made up of glomus cells, blood vessels, and smooth muscle and are classified based on the predominant cell type. The differential for this tumor includes carcinoid tumors, paragangliomas, and hemangiomas, and immunohistochemical stains can be used to obtain the correct diagnosis. The most common modality for treatment of these tracheal tumors has been surgical resection. However, there have been reported cases of successful removal with rigid or flexible bronchoscopy. We present a case of a tracheal glomus tumor that was successfully resected using electrocautery snare during flexible bronchoscopy. Our case adds to the evidence that flexible bronchoscopy is a safe, less invasive approach to management of tracheal glomus tumors in select patients.

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