Objectives To report the pathologic findings in cases involving endotracheal and endobronchial tumors in the pediatric population and to describe the presenting symptoms and treatment modalities for endotracheal and endobronchial tumors.
Design Retrospective chart review.
Setting Tertiary care children's hospital.
Patients The study included 14 patients with endotracheal and endobronchial tumors.
Main Outcome Measures Patients were selected if bronchoscopy was performed to obtain biopsy specimens from the trachea or bronchus.
Results There were 14 cases that met the inclusion criteria between 1993 and 2009. The patients ranged in age from 4 to 18 years. The most common presenting symptom was recurrent pneumonia (n = 6), followed by wheezing or asthma that was unresponsive to treatment (n = 4). Nine lesions (64%) were malignant and 5 (36%) were benign. Of the malignant tumors, 5 (55%) were carcinoid, 3 (33%) were mucoepidermoid carcinoma, and 1 was adenoid cystic carcinoma. There were 1 or 2 cases of each of the following benign to intermediate malignant potential lesions: histoplasmosis nodules, chondroid hamartoma, pulmonary chondroma, and inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor. In 12 cases, definitive treatment included surgical resection. Three of these cases required postoperative chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Conclusions The results of this series suggest that in the pediatric population tracheal and endobronchial tumors are most likely to be carcinoid tumors or mucoepidermoid carcinomas, both malignant processes. For patients with recurrent pneumonias or chronic wheezing, an occult tumor is a diagnostic consideration that may require additional studies.