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Rare cause of lung atelectasis in a young woman
  1. Paula Inês Pedro1,
  2. Dolores Canário1,
  3. Miguel Lopes1 and
  4. Despina Argyropoulou2
  1. 1 Pulmonology, Hospital Garcia de Orta EPE, Almada, Portugal
  2. 2 Pathology, Hospital Garcia de Orta EPE, Almada, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paula Inês Pedro, paulaines.gpedro{at}


Pulmonary mucoepidermoid carcinoma is an extremely rare intrathoracic malignancy, comprising less than 1% of all lung tumours. These are very slow growing and are classified into low grade and high grade based on histological features. Surgical resection is the primary treatment with excellent outcomes, while chemotherapy or radiotherapy effectiveness is not known. Preoperative fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/CT (18F-FDG PET/CT) is useful for predicting tumour grade and postsurgical prognosis.

A clinical case of a 31-year-old woman who presented with dyspnoea on exertion, cough and wheezing is reported. Imaging studies revealed a mass involving the left lower lobe bronchus and atelectasis. 18F-FDG PET/CT showed uptake in the described mass with a maximum standardised uptake value of 9.7. Complete surgical resection was performed, and pathological examination revealed a high-grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma with tumour-free margins. Adjuvant chemotherapy was given and there is no evidence of tumour recurrence.

  • respiratory cancer
  • pneumonia (respiratory medicine)
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  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Contributors All the authors of this article have directly participated in the planning, execution and analysis of this case report. PIP was involved in patient’s follow-up consult, bibliographic research and manuscript writing. DC and ML were involved in patient’s follow-up consult and manuscript review. DA performed the histopathology analysis, contributed to the diagnosis of the disease and manuscript review. All authors read and approved the final version submitted.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests Competing interest.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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