• Vol. 31 No. 4, 528–530
  • 15 July 2002

All that Wheezes is not Asthma—Broncholithiasis, a Forgotten Disease

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Asthma is a common condition seen by medical practitioners. However, ‘all that wheezes is not asthma’, is an important adage not to be forgotten. We report a case of broncholithiasis which was initially misdiagnosed as asthma.

Clinical Picture: An 81-yearold female presented with cough and intermittent wheezing associated with one episode of haemoptysis. Chest radiograph and CT thorax were suggestive of broncholithiasis. This was confirmed by flexible bronchoscopy.

Treatment: The broncholith was successfully extracted using flexible bronchoscopy.

Outcome: The patient had complete resolution of symptoms post procedure.

Conclusions: Physicians should always entertain other differential diagnoses which may mimic asthma.


Asthma is a very common condition which presents clinically with cough, shortness of breath and wheezing. However, ‘all that wheezes is not asthma’, is an important adage not to be forgotten.

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