A middle-aged man was referred to us for the evaluation of hemoptysis. He had undergone the right upper lobectomy 20 years back for aspergilloma. For the past 10 years, he had cough with mucoid sputum on most days. For the past 1 year, he had repeated episodes of blood-stained sputum as well. He was a nonsmoker and denied having been treated for tuberculosis. His basic blood investigations were normal. A high-resolution computed tomography scan of the thorax was obtained and it was noncontributory. He underwent a flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy and the lobectomy stump revealed the presence of two sutures [Figure 1]. These were removed using forceps. After the removal, two smooth intraluminal protrusions were seen in the adjacent mucosa [Figure 2], which when biopsied were shown to be composed of granulation tissue alone. The patient was completely relieved of his symptoms after the removal of the sutures.
It is unusual for sutures applied to the bronchial stump to extrude out. In this case, a nonabsorbable, braided surgical suture composed of polyethylene terephthalate had been used. Exposed sutures apparently cause cough by producing local irritation, granuloma formation, and infection. Cases of recurrent pneumonia due to the retained sutures have also been reported. Removal of the sutures results in immediate resolution of symptoms as was seen in our case also. This implies that endobronchial sutures should be considered a cause of chronic and persistent cough which is unresponsive to specific therapy, in patients with a history, even remote, of previous thoracic surgery.
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