Tracheobronchial amyloidosis: A case report and review of literature.
Tracheobronchial amyloidosis, manifested by amyloid deposits limited specifically to tracheal and bronchial tissue, is a rare manifestation with only a few hundred published cases. Patients classically present with symptoms related to fixed upper airway obstruction caused by tracheal stenosis. Clinical symptoms are non-specific and include hoarseness, dyspnea, cough, stridor, hemoptysis, and dysphagia, which are similar to those caused by more common airway disorders, often leading to incorrect, missed, and delayed diagnosis. The wide-spread use of computerized tomography (CT) imaging has the potential of dramatically advancing the early diagnosis of tracheobronchial amyloidosis. We present a case of a patient with chronic and progressive hoarseness, diagnosed with tracheobronchial amyloidosis, with a focus on unusually clear and precise CT soft tissue neck imaging. CT imaging demonstrated nodular circumferential raised mass-like thickening involving the long-segment posterior wall of the distal trachea. The wall thickening also extended into the proximal left main stem bronchi, but spared the distal bronchial tree. This resulted in moderate (approximately 50%) narrowing of the tracheal lumen, which explained the patient's hoarseness. Routine CT imaging of patients with chronic and progressive respiratory symptoms, including cough, hoarseness, and dyspnea, is recommended. Tracheobronchial amyloidosis is an uncommon disease, but it may become more commonly recognized with broader use of more effective CT imaging protocols.