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Chin Med Sci J. 2009 Mar;24(1):60-3.

Clinical features and treatment of bronchogenic cyst in adults.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.



To investigate the clinical features and management of bronchogenic cyst in the adults.


We retrospectively reviewed 50 patients admitted to our hospital with histopathologically proved bronchogenic cyst from January 1983 to December 2007. Of all the patients, 28 were male and 22 were female, with an average age of 36.9 (range, 18 to 64) years. The symptoms, location of the cysts, imaging evaluation, surgical treatment manner, and outcome of these patients were analyzed.


Symptoms were present in 33 of the 50 patients, and cough was the most common symptom. Thirteen patients presented with complications: hemoptysis, infected cyst, dysphagia, paralysis, and hoarseness. The locations of the cysts included the mediastinum (28 cases), pulmonary parenchyma (12 cases), hilar area (3 cases), visceral pleura (1 case), and some rare locations including the intestinal mesentery (1 case), retroperitoneum (1 case), adrenal gland (1 case), neck (2 cases), and dura matter of the cervical vertebrae (1 case). Chest X-ray was performed in 36 patients and computed tomography (CT) was performed in 41 patients. The bronchogenic cyst in CT was characterized as a round, well circumscribed, unilocular mass, with density ranging from that of water to high density (0-50 Hu). As for treatment, complete resection of the bronchogenic cyst was performed in 47 (94%) patients, subtotal resection was performed in 3 (6%) patients. Open surgery was performed in 45 (90%) patients, and thoracoscopy (video-assisted thoracic surgery) was performed in 5 (10%) paitients. Of the 12 patients with intrapulmonary cyst, 11 patients underwent lobectomy and 1 patient underwent wedge resection. Postoperative sequelae occurred in 2 patients, 1 with persistent air leakage and 1 with hoarseness. All patients were proved with bronchogenic cyst pathologically. The average follow-up period was 6.5 years (range, 4 months to 10 years), and no late sequelae or recurrence of the cyst occurred.


The clinical and imaging presentations of bronchogenic cyst in adults are variable. Surgical resection is the best way for diagnosis and treatment. Both open surgery and thoracoscopy are appropriate for the selected candidates.

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