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Endobronchial teratoma
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Endobronchial teratoma

Contributors: Shea A. Nagle MPH, Mary Anne Morgan MD, Abhijeet Waghray MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Teratomas are rare germ cell tumors containing histologic elements from at least 2 distinct germ cell layers. These are most commonly gonadal or sacrococcygeal tumors. Only around 3% of all teratomas present extragonadally as anterior mediastinal masses or, even more rarely, endobronchial or intrapulmonary masses.

Pulmonary teratomas are generally large, benign cystic lesions. They usually present in the upper lobes. These are most commonly composed of skin, hair, adipose, thymic, bronchial, pancreatic, cartilaginous, and neural tissue. Malignant tumors contain anaplastic cells. When the bronchi are involved, patients can develop obstruction, bronchiectasis, lung abscesses, recurrent pneumonia, and fistulas. Rarely, these lesions may rupture. Cases of endobronchial teratomas have been described in children, without predilection for sex.

Prognosis is excellent for mature teratomas, and surgery is considered curative.


D38.1 – Neoplasm of uncertain behavior of trachea, bronchus and lung

254627002 – Carcinoid tumor of lung

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Pulmonary emphysema
  • Infectious – Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia, Tuberculosis, Histoplasmosis, Aspergillosis, Blastomycosis, Coccidioidomycosis
  • Cancer – metastatic Malignant teratoma, metastatic Gestational choriocarcinoma, pulmonary blastoma, pulmonary angiomyolipoma, Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, small cell Lung cancer, non-small cell Lung cancer, carcinosarcoma, neural sheath tumors, Lymphoma, Thymoma, Thyroid cancer
  • Bronchial polyps
  • PneumoconiosisCoal worker pneumoconiosis, Asbestosis, Silicosis, Berylliosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis, mediastinal fibrosis, Idiopathic hilar fibrosis, Retroperitoneal fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis, histiocytosis
  • Autoimmune – Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Genetic / congenital – Cystic fibrosis, Kartagener syndrome, bronchopulmonary foregut malformation
  • Radiation pneumonitis
  • Foreign body aspiration

Best Tests

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Last Reviewed:11/04/2019
Last Updated:10/27/2021
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Endobronchial teratoma
A medical illustration showing key findings of Endobronchial teratoma : Pleuritic chest pain, Productive cough
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.