A patient with broncholithiasis may develop a number of clinical findings. Some patients are diagnosed as having a lung tumor if appropriate imaging studies are not performed.


Clinical features of broncholithiasis may include:

(1) hemoptysis

(2) lithoptysis (coughing up bits of “stone”)

(3) chronic cough

(4) recurrent episodes of bronchopneumonia (if broncholith associated with bronchial obstruction)

(5) chest pain

(6) chills and fever

(7) rarely fistula (bronchopleural, bronchoesophageal)


The patient may also have additional clinical findings associated with the cause for the broncholith, such as tuberculosis.


If a stone is expectorated then it can be submitted for chemical analysis which can help to establish its origin.


If a broncholith is identified, it can be removed by bronchoscopy if it is completely detached. Attempting to remove a broncholith that is not completely detached can result in massive hemorrhage from an adjacent bronchial artery.


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