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Pneumologie. 1992 Jan;46(1):12-9.

[Thoracic actinomycosis versus bronchial cancer].

[Article in German]

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Pneumologische Klinik, Zentralkrankenhauses Gauting, LVA Obb.


We report on 4 thoracic actinomycoses; in three of these four cases a bronchial carcinoma was suspected, and in case No. 2 this carcinoma had been considered to be in a very advanced and inoperable stage. A man of 51 years of age was in a generally run-down condition. He also noticed that his sputum was tinged with blood. The x-ray film showed a large space-occupying growth at the right lung hilus. Repeated perbronchial biopsies of the focus did not yield any diagnosis. Actinomycosis was identified histologically only in the tissue samples obtained via thoracotomy. After a three-month penicillin course the hilar shadow receded. A 61-year old male patient was transferred to our Pneumological Hospital, being strongly suspected of suffering from an extensive bronchial carcinoma, and having multiple intrathoracic space-occupying growths as well as pleural effusions, a pericardial effusion, and an infiltration of the left thoracic wall with fistula formation; however, histological examination of skin biopsies revealed that he was suffering from actinomycosis. Antibiotic therapy cured him completely in a six-month course. In a man of 32 years of age who had been indulging for many years in a severe abuse of nicotin, we suspected a central bronchial carcinoma on the basis of his x-ray, but histology of the tissue taken from the space-occupying growth via diagnostic thoracotomy revealed that this patient, too, suffered from actinomycosis. Complete recession occurred after several months of antibiotic treatment. A woman of 82 years had been an inpatient for several months in another hospital because of relapsing pleuropneumonias on the right side. She was transferred to us as an outpatient after a renewed relapse. We conducted a transcutaneous fine-needle biopsy of the right indurating pleural effusion. A few actinomyces filaments were seen on histological examination of the purulent exudate. Hence, actinomycosis was confirmed. After antibiotic therapy the finding receded completely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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