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Symptoms and Signs of Bronchial Adenoma

Doctor's Notes on Bronchial Adenoma

Bronchial adenoma refers to group of tumors arising from mucous glands and ducts of the trachea (windpipe) or bronchi (large airways of the lung) such as 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. Most of these types of tumors are considered low-grade cancers that grow and spread much more slowly than true lung cancer.

Early symptoms of bronchial adenoma may initially be thought to be bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, or bronchiectasis. Symptoms of bronchial adenoma depend on whether the tumor is located centrally or peripherally in the airways. Symptoms of bronchial adenoma with central lesions include shortness of breath, stridor (high pitched, noisy breathing), wheezing, cough, fever, sputum production, and in severe cases, coughing up blood. Symptoms of bronchial adenoma with peripheral lesions commonly do not produce symptoms. The peripheral lesions often appear as solitary pulmonary nodules on chest X-rays.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.