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November 4, 1961

Rupture of the Bronchus from Bronchoscopy During a Paroxysm of Coughing

Author Affiliations


Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School; Endoscopist, Massachusetts General Hospital.

JAMA. 1961;178(5):509-510. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.73040440023014c

RUPTURE of the bronchus during bronchoscopy is a rare occurrence; so rare in fact that in a series of over 5,800 bronchoscopies performed over a period of 25 years, no ruptured bronchus during bronchoscopy has occurred in my own experience until very recently. In 2 recent cases excessive coughing during the procedure seemed to be the only etiological factor.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.—  A 62-year-old woman entered the hospital because of "spells" of 2 years' duration. The attacks began with episodes of uncontrollable coughing usually productive of bloody sputum. Complete neuromedical studies failed to elucidate the cause of her tussive syncope. An x-ray of the chest showed the left lung to be clear. On the right there was a very dense area of calcification measuring approximately 1.5 cm. in diameter within the right lower lobe. This was felt to be most likely a tuberculous granuloma. A pulmonary consultant raised

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