Bronchial Adenoma Overview
The term bronchial adenoma describes a diverse group of tumors arising from mucous glands and ducts of the trachea (windpipe) or bronchi (large airways of the lung). This term describes all of the following types of tumors: neuroendocrine tumors (carcinoids), adenoid cystic carcinomas (cylindromas), mucoepidermoid carcinomas, mucous gland adenomas, and other mixed seromucinous tumors arising from mucous glands and ducts of the windpipe and large airways.
These tumors are of widely variable malignant (cancerous) potential, although most of them are low-grade malignancies, growing and spreading much more slowly than true lung cancer. Only mucous gland adenomas are truly benign (noncancerous), lacking even the potential to turn malignant.
Bronchial Adenoma Causes
The cause of bronchial adenoma is not known.
Bronchial Adenoma Symptoms
Bronchial adenoma may remain undiagnosed for years because of the small size of the tumor and the slow growth pattern. This condition masquerades as bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, or bronchiectasis (localized irreversible expansion of part of the bronchial tree resulting in airflow obstruction and impaired clearance of secretions).
Symptoms of bronchial adenoma depend on whether the tumor is located centrally or peripherally in the airways. Persons with central lesions have symptoms of obstruction and bleeding, which include the following:
Persons with peripheral lesions are more commonly asymptomatic (that is, they do not have any symptoms). The peripheral lesions most often appear as solitary pulmonary nodules on chest X-ray films. Because these individuals are asymptomatic, the findings are typically found on chest X-ray films taken for other reasons.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/5/2014
Charles W Van Way III, MD
Christian S Hinrichs, MD
Winston W Tan, MD
Mary L Windle, PharmD
Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD, FRCP
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