Pseudomembranous necrotizing laryngotracheobronchitis due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae: a case report and literature review

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Background: Pseudomembranous necrotizing laryngotracheobronchitis refers to an acute diffuse necrotizing inflammation in the mucosa of the larynx, trachea, and bronchus. It often occurs in infants and children having viral infections secondary to bacterial infections. Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae) is a common pathogen that causes pneumonia in children. In recent years, serious complications due to M. pneumoniae infection, including necrotizing pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and pleural effusion, have been increasingly reported. Case presentation: An 11-year-old girl was admitted to our unit with cough, fever, and hoarseness persistent for a week. The results of the M. pneumoniae serological test, PCR examination with bronchial aspirate and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), next-generation sequencing (mNGS) for BALF, all suggested the presence of M. pneumoniae infection. High-resolution CT scanning of the chest showed inflammation of the middle and lower lobes of the right lung. By bronchoscopy, the necrosis of the vocal cords, trachea, and bronchial mucosa was observed; each bronchial lumen contained a large amount of white viscous sputum. Pathological findings for bronchial mucosa suggested inflammatory necrosis. After administration of azithromycin and glucocorticoids, the symptoms of the patients were ameliorated. After 2 weeks post-discharge, the X-ray scan of her chest indicated the pneumonia resolution in the right lung. Conclusions: In patients with pneumonia due to M. pneumoniae infection, which causes obvious hoarseness, bronchoscopy is necessary even if the lung lesions are not massively consolidated. When necrotizing lesions of the larynx, trachea, and bronchi are detected by bronchoscopy, the necrotic tissues in the corresponding parts should be conducted tissue biopsy for pathological examination. Apart from macrolide antibiotics, the administration of small doses of glucocorticoids is necessary.




Lei, W., Fei-Zhou, Z., Jing, C., Shu-Xian, L., Xi-Ling, W., & Lan-Fang, T. (2022). Pseudomembranous necrotizing laryngotracheobronchitis due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae: a case report and literature review. BMC Infectious Diseases, 22(1).

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