A case of pseudomembranous tracheitis caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae in an immunocompetent patient

Yong Hoon Lee, Hyewon Seo, Seung Ick Cha, Chang Ho Kim, Jaehee Lee


Pseudomembranous tracheitis (PMT) is a rare condition characterized by pseudomembrane formation in the tracheobronchial tree that may be associated with infectious and noninfectious processes. However, PMT attributed to Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae), a common atypical respiratory infectious pathogen, has not been reported till date. Here, we report about a 29-year-old woman with complaints of severe persistent cough and radiographic deterioration despite antibiotics administration for pneumonia at an outside facility. She was finally diagnosed as having PMT with bilateral diffuse bronchiolitis caused by M. pneumoniae infection. The diagnosis was made based on a bronchoscopic finding of a pseudomembrane that partially covered the membranous portion of the upper and middle trachea, a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test with bronchial aspirate, and a positive serological test for M. pneumoniae without detection of any other causative pathogen through an extensive workup. Her symptoms and radiographic findings improved in response to moxifloxacin and corticosteroid treatment. This case is a rare presentation of M. pneumoniae infection complicating PMT in a young adult without any known risk factors.