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Surg Today. 1993;23(5):449-54.

Bronchial atresia: report of a case and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Ehime Prefectural Central Hospital, Japan.


We report herein an unusual presentation of bronchial atresia in a 28-year-old woman, in whom hyperlucency of the ventral segment, distal to a right extrahilar mass found on a routine chest X-ray, was not recognized. Atresia of the medial branch of the ventral segmental bronchus (B3b) with mucoid impaction in the dilated bronchus was finally disclosed by a right upper lobectomy. The patient had been asymptomatic, and physical examination demonstrated no abnormal findings such as decreased breathing sounds over the affected lung. Localized hyperlucency and a mass are the characteristic radiographic features of bronchial atresia. In the present case, however, hyperlucency distal to the mass, which was retrospectively evident on a computed tomogram of the chest, was not recognized. The preoperative diagnosis was also made difficult by the fact that the atresia was located on a subsequential branch (B3b) of the ventral segmental bronchus of the right upper lobe. Since computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are able to make an accurate diagnosis of bronchial atresia possible, surgery is often not indicated for asymptomatic patients. Moreover, although surgical intervention is required for patients with complications such as encroachment of normal pulmonary tissue or infection, resection should be as limited as possible to preserve normal lung tissue.

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