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A 46-year-old man with tracheomegaly, tracheal diverticulosis, and bronchiectasis: Mounier-Kuhn syndrome.
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MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22628937     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
Lower respiratory tract infection is one of the common causes of morbidity in India which is occasionally undiagnosed. In this regard tracheobronchomegaly is one of those conditions which masquerade as chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis and are usually undiagnosed. It is a well-defined clinical and radiologic entity characterized by marked dilatation of the trachea and the central bronchi and is frequently associated with recurrent lower respiratory tract infection. Tracheobronchomegaly has been described by a variety of names, including Mounier-Kuhn syndrome, tracheal diverticulosis, tracheobronchiectasis, tracheocele, tracheomalacia, and tracheobronchopathia malacia.
Ashish K Jaiswal; Sushil Munjal; Rupak Singla; Vidushi Jain; Digamber Behera
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Lung India : official organ of Indian Chest Society     Volume:  29     ISSN:  0974-598X     ISO Abbreviation:  Lung India     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-05-25     Completed Date:  2012-10-02     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8405380     Medline TA:  Lung India     Country:  India    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  176-8     Citation Subset:  -    
Departments of TB and Respiratory Diseases, L.R.S. Institute, Delhi, India.
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Journal Information
Journal ID (nlm-ta): Lung India
Journal ID (iso-abbrev): Lung India
Journal ID (publisher-id): LI
ISSN: 0970-2113
ISSN: 0974-598X
Publisher: Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, India
Article Information
Copyright: © Lung India
Print publication date: Season: Apr-Jun Year: 2012
Volume: 29 Issue: 2
First Page: 176 Last Page: 178
ID: 3354496
PubMed Id: 22628937
Publisher Id: LI-29-176
DOI: 10.4103/0970-2113.95337

A 46-year-old man with tracheomegaly, tracheal diverticulosis, and bronchiectasis: Mounier-Kuhn syndrome
Ashish K. Jaiswalaff1
Sushil Munjalaff1
Rupak Singlaaff1
Vidushi Jainaff1
Digamber Beheraaff1
Departments of TB and Respiratory Diseases, L.R.S. Institute, Delhi, India
Correspondence: Address for correspondence: Dr. Ashish Jaiswal, F-201, Old M.B. Road, Lado Sarai, Delhi, India. E-mail:


Tracheobronchomegaly or Mounier-Kuhn syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by marked dilatation of the trachea and main bronchi, bronchiectasis, and patient usually presents with recurrent respiratory tract infections.

The etiology of this disorder is uncertain and the clinical presentation is variable. For an adult, any diameter of the trachea, right main bronchus, or left main bronchus that exceeds 3.0, 2.4, or 2.3 cm, respectively on a standard chest radiograph or bronchogram is diagnostic for it.


A 46-year-old nonsmoker, nonalcoholic man, clerk by occupation, attended with complaints of chronic cough with mucoid expectoration for last 15 years, which became purulent during infectious exacerbations, occassionally with blood-stained sputum. He had 2--3 exacerbations lasting for 1 to 2 weeks annually. He also had breathlessness on exertion since 2--3 years with marked seasonal variation which was relieved on antibiotic and routine bronchodilator. There was no history of fever, wheeze, chest pain, or weight loss. No other associated comorbid conditions were present (diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or immunosuppresion). There was no significant admission history and family history was unremarkable for any other connective and autoimmune disease. On admission his vitals were stable and arterial blood gas values were under normal limit. On physical examination the patient was well nourished, thin built with symmetrical finger clubbing. Clinical respiratory examination revealed bronchial breathing bilaterally at apices and inspiratory crackles at the lower third of both lung fields. Sputum and tracheal aspirate were negative for bacterial, mycobacteria, and other atypical organisms. Baseline laboratory tests revealed increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate (24 mm/h) and C-reactive protein level (28 mg/l; normal= 0-20 mg/l). The rheumatoid factor and CCP (anticyclic citrillunated peptide) were normal. Antinuclear antibody levels were mildly raised but there was no characteristic immunoflouroscence pattern. His forced expiratory volume in 1 second, diffusion capacity, forced vital capacity, total lung capacity, and residual volume were 33%, 33%, 52%, 109%, and 20% of the predicted value respectively.

A chest radiograph revealed upper lobe bronchiectasis [Figure 1] while the chest CT scan showed tracheomegaly with transverse diameter of the trachea, right, and left main bronchus of 36 mm, 28 mm, and 24 mm, respectively. Many diverticular out pouchings were present from the trachea to the main bronchi. There was also evidence of cystic bronchiectasis involving both upper lobes [Figure 2]. On fiber optic bronchoscopy (FOB) several openings in the posterior and lateral wall of trachea and main bronchus were seen and some of which could be easily penetrated by the tip of bronchoscope. In these openings, we could identify collection of copious amounts of mucoid secretion [Figure 3].


Mounier-Kuhn syndrome (MKS) is a rare disorder of unknown cause that is characterized by atrophy of the elastic and smooth muscle of the tracheobronchial tree, tracheobronchomegaly (TBM), and severe bronchiectasis. There is male predominance, and patients usually present in adult life.

The condition was first recognized at autopsy by Czyhlarz in 1897, but it was not until 1932 that Mounier-Kuhn associated the endoscopic and radiographic appearance of the markedly enlarged airway with recurrent respiratory tract infection. Tracheobronchomegaly is believed to be rare. Till date, only 82 cases have been reported in the literature. However, some patients with tracheobronchomegaly may be totally asymptomatic and are not detected, whereas those with symptoms frequently are overlooked if chest radiographs alone are used for diagnosis.[1, 2]

The cause of tracheobronchomegaly in our case is unknown and the patient also denied any evidence of connective tissue diseases. Although the association of this condition with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome reported in adults and with acquired cutis laxa in children may suggest a congenital defect in connective tissue as the basis for tracheobronchomegaly; most cases, however, presented in the third or later decades of life and showed no evidence of other connective tissue disorders.

Tracheobronchomegaly is, therefore, believed to be an acquired rather than a developmental anomaly.[3] Disorders such as sarcoidosis, usual interstitial pneumonia, and cystic fibrosis, which cause severe fibrosis of the upper lobes, may also exert sufficient tracheal traction to result in tracheal enlargement. Certain other conditions such as Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Kenny-Caffey syndrome, ataxia-telangiectasia, connective tissue diseases, Brachmann-de Lange syndrome, Bruton-type agammaglobulinemia, ankylosing spondylitis, cutis laxa, and light chain deposition disease are also associated with secondary tracheobronchial enlargement.[4, 5]

In our case diagnosis is established on the basis of radiologic findings of TBM, diverticulosis, outpouching of the airway wall on lateral chest radiography, and characteristic endoscopic findings. Here the dilatation of trachea and central bronchi was associated with an abrupt transition to a normal caliber of the peripheral airways as well which was well diagnosed by a standard chest radiograph/bronchogram. The upper limits of the mean plus three standard deviations for diameter of trachea, right main bronchus, and left main bronchus are 3.0, 2.0, and 2.3 cm, respectively. The diameters in the present case were 3.6, 2.8, and 2.4 cm, respectively, fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for tracheobronchomegaly.[6, 7]

TBM is a condition for which no effective therapy exists and usually it is mainly supportive. Symptomatic patients with airway collapse might require endobronchial stenting. Treatment is directed to minimizing the damage resulting from stasis and infection, and general supportive therapy, e.g., bronchodilators.[1]


Source of Support: Nil

Conflict of Interest: None declared.

1. Lazzarini-de-Oliveira LC,de Barros Franco CA Costa,de Salles CL Gomes,de Oliveira AC Jr. A 39-year old male with tracheomegaly, tracheal diverticulosis, and bronchiectasisChestYear: 200112010182011555541
2. Al-Mubarak HF,Husain SA. Tracheobronchomegaly-Mounier-Kuhn syndromeSaudi Med JYear: 20042579880115195215
3. Marques A,Félix M,Barata F,Pires J,Estêvão MH. Mounier-Kuhn syndrome: a rare aetiology of recurrent respiratory tract infectionsRev Port PneumolYear: 200713721717962890
4. Huete-Garin A,Sagel SS. Lee JKT,Sagel SS,Stanley RJ,Heiken JPMediastinumComputed body tomography with MRI correlationYear: 20064th editionPhiladelphiaLippincott Williams & Wilkins311410
5. Fortuna FP,Irion K,Wink C,Boemo JL. Mounier Kuhn syndromeJ Bras PneumolYear: 200632180317273589
6. Marom EM,Goodman PC,McAdams HP. Diffuse abnormalities of the trachea and main bronchiAJR Am J RoentgenolYear: 2001176713711222211
7. Ghanei M,Peyman M,Aslani J,Zamel N. Mounier-Kuhn syndrome: A rare cause of severe bronchial dilatation with normal pulmonary function test: A case reportRespir MedYear: 20071011836917428651


[Figure ID: F1]
Figure 1 

CXR showing bronchiectasis and tracheomegaly

[Figure ID: F2]
Figure 2 

CT showing diverticular out pouchings and bronchomegaly

[Figure ID: F3]
Figure 3 

FOB showing roomy airways with mucoid secretions

Article Categories:
  • Case Report

Keywords: KEY WORDS Diverticulosis, Mounier-Kuhn syndrome, tracheobronchomegaly.

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