Dry pleurisy complicating solitary pulmonary nodules caused by Mycobacterium avium: A case report

Takanori Asakura, Makoto Ishii, Mizuha Haraguchi, Ikuo Kamiyama, Mitsutomo Kohno, Hiroyuki Sakamaki, Katsura Emoto, Yuichiro Hayashi, Hiroaki Sugiura, Ichiro Kawada, Kenzo Soejima, Ho Namkoong, Sadatomo Tasaka, Naoki Hasegawa, Tomoko Betsuyaku

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) lung disease presenting as a solitary pulmonary nodule (MAC-SPN) is often asymptomatic, is more common in middle to old age, and mimics lung cancer or tuberculoma. We report herein a case of MAC-SPN in an immunocompetent young adult patient, presenting with persistent chest pain and a subacutely progressive nodule with high intense 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake. Histological examination of resected specimens revealed pleurisy, which is a rare finding of MAC-SPN. Case presentation: A 36-year-old Japanese male presented with chest pain and a subacutely progressive pulmonary nodule. Positron emission tomography-computed tomography showed high intense 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake in the nodule. Owing to his continuous chest pain and subacutely progressive nodules, wedge resection was performed using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. Histological examination revealed an epithelioid granuloma and pleurisy, and the lung tissue culture was positive for mycobacteria identified as M. avium. Conclusion: This is the first report of MAC-SPN occurring with persistent chest pain, suggesting that MAC should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a solitary pulmonary nodule, even for patients who experience persistent chest pain. As in the present case, surgical resection with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery is a reasonable approach to the diagnosis and treatment of MAC-SPN with possible malignancy, especially as MAC can be diagnosed using resected lung tissue culture with histological confirmation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number238
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 26


  • F-fluorodeoxyglucose
  • Mycobacterium avium complex lung disease
  • positron emission tomography
  • solitary pulmonary nodule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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