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Pseudomembranous tracheitis (PMT) is a rare condition most commonly caused by fungal or bacterial infection that is characterized by a pseudomembrane that partially or completely covers the tracheobronchial tree. PMT is most commonly found in immunocompromised patient populations, such as post-chemotherapy, AIDS, post-transplant and hematological malignancies. Due to its rarity, PMT is often not included in the differential diagnosis. This case describes a 65 year old male with persistent fever and refractory cough despite high dose empiric antibiotics. Subsequent bronchoscopy with biopsy revealed pseudomembranous tracheitis due to Aspergillus fumigatus in the setting of T-cell lymphoma. PMT should be considered in the differential diagnosis of refractory cough in the immunocompromised population. However, it has been described in patients with nonspecific respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea, cough, and other airway issues.

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Originally published in Respiratory Medicine Case Reports, 21, 42-45. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. The original material can be found here.