A Tale of Two Images: From Mycobacterium Avium Complex-Lung Disease (MAC-LD) to Mycobacterium Avium Complex-Pleural Disease

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Respiratory Medicine Case Reports


The typical radiographic presentation for Mycobacterium avium complex lung disease (MAC-LD) is either nodular bronchiectasis or cavitary lung disease. The former is seen most commonly in middle-aged or elderly Caucasian females with the characteristic asthenic phenotype, and the latter in middle-aged male smokers with COPD. We present the case of a young, otherwise healthy woman, with no significant risk factors, who was incidentally found to have MAC-LD with associated bronchiectasis. The patient's treatment and clinical course over a period of 5 years was marred by erratic follow up, intermittent treatment and poor adherence to guideline-based antibiotic therapy. Over this period of time, the patient developed significant worsening of her MAC-LD, macrolide resistance and failure to thrive. Upon presentation 5 years after her initial diagnosis, she had developed MAC-Pleural Disease with an empyema and broncho-pleural fistula. This case illustrates the progression of MAC-LD from nodular bronchiectasis to cavitary disease and pleural involvement leading to clinical deterioration. It highlights challenges related to short and long term management of macrolide resistant MAC-LD and the importance and need for surgical intervention and drainage procedures in patient with MAC-Pleural Disease.




Elsevier [University Publisher]