Bronchial anthracofibrosis has been defined as luminal bronchial narrowing associated with anthracotic pigmentation on bronchoscopy without a relevant history of pneumoconiosis or smoking.
However, there is a potential relationship between bronchial anthracofibrosis and tuberculosis (TB) 1. Co-existence of TB and anthracofibrosis is high (~50%), and the CT findings are similar for the two conditions 3-4.
There is a preponderance for bronchial anthracofibrosis affecting women in their sixties.
Exposure to biomass fuel smoke 2,4.
Chronic productive cough, dyspnoea, haemoptysis, chest pain, fever and general weakness 1-2.
Pulmonary functional tests (PFTs) show an obstructive pattern in 50% of the patients affected, with small airway dysfunction varying according to the severity of bronchial stenosis.
Chest x-ray findings are non-specific 2:
- atelectasis (48%)
- linear shadows (40%)
- consolidation (29%)
- reticular or reticulonodular pattern (25%)
- mass lesion (7%)
- segmental collapse distal to the involved bronchi 1-2
- right middle lobe is the most frequently involved 1
- enlarged mediastinal or hilar lymph nodes adjacent to the involved bronchi or calcified nodes adjacent to the bronchi 1-2
- bronchial narrowing accompanied by thickening of the wall or peribronchial cuffing 1-2
- other findings: fibrotic bands, nodules, bronchiectasis
- 1. Kim HY, Im JG, Goo JM et-al. Bronchial anthracofibrosis (inflammatory bronchial stenosis with anthracotic pigmentation): CT findings. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2000;174 (2): 523-7. doi:10.2214/ajr.174.2.1740523 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Gupta A, Shah A. Bronchial anthracofibrosis: an emerging pulmonary disease due to biomass fuel exposure. Int. J. Tuberc. Lung Dis. 2011;15 (5): 602-12. doi:10.5588/ijtld.10.0308 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Park HJ, Park SH, Im SA et-al. CT differentiation of anthracofibrosis from endobronchial tuberculosis. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2008;191 (1): 247-51. doi:10.2214/AJR.07.2161 - Pubmed citation
- 4. Han FF, Yang TY, Song L et-al. Clinical and pathological features and imaging manifestations of bronchial anthracofibrosis: the findings in 15 patients. Chin. Med. J. 2014;126 (14): 2641-6. Pubmed citation