Endobronchial anthracofibrosis: possibly a new indication of aggressive treatment for active endobronchial tuberculosis
Anthracofibrosis, which was defined as a luminal narrowing associated with overlying anthracotic mucosa on bronchoscopy, has been infrequently reported. Recently, we have identified a case of patient who had a history of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), manifested left main bronchial stenosis and hyperpigmentation. Despite repeated and multiple cryotherapy, the condition was still progressing. Given to the potential relationship between active endobronchial tuberculosis (EBTB) and anthracofibrosis, the patient received a diagnostic anti-tuberculosis (anti-TB) treatment due to initial failed cryotherapy, resulting in improvement of hyperpigmentation and stenosis of the left main bronchus. Eventually, the patient recovered well with regular anti-TB combined with intermittent cryotherapy. Our study suggests that even without etiological evidence, there might be an indication of therapeutic trial of anti-TB medication in case of repeated bronchial stenosis due to anthracofibrosis in patients with past history of TB and other causes are excluded. Yet, the recommendation of aggressive treatment should reply on the effect of diagnostic treatment and further research.