Chest wall pseudotumor: a case of non-tuberculous mycobacter
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Non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections are increasing worldwide, making them an international public health problem. Surgical management is often indicated for localized infectious disease; however, most surgeons are unaware of the potential risks of transmission during surgery.

An 88-year-old Asian female was referred to hospital for a tumor in the right lateral thoracic region. One month prior, she had a feeling of fullness and complained of localized pain and warmth in the right lateral thoracic wall. Pain and warmth gradually resolved without intervention; however, the fullness was getting worse. Computed tomography (CT) scan showed a mass of approximately 65?×?30?mm with an osteolytic change, involving the right 8th rib.

Based on the rapid growth rate and CT findings, a malignant chest wall tumor was strongly suspected, and en bloc tumor resection with the 8th rib was performed. When the specimen was cut, a large amount of viscous pus was drained and its culture showed growth of Mycobacterium avium. Microscopically, the non-caseating epithelioid cell granuloma extended into the rib, infiltrating the bone cortex. On follow-up 1 month after discharge, there were no signs of infection or other adverse events associated with the surgery.

Herein, authors report about a patient with a mass diagnosed as an NTM abscess involving the rib cage, which was confused with a malignant tumor and eventually diagnosed following surgical excision. This report emphasizes the need to be aware of the possibility of NTM infection and take appropriate precautions if the patient has a rapidly growing mass in the chest wall.

Source: https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-021-05843-z/figures/1
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