Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
 Open access journal indexed with Index Medicus & EMBASE  
     Home | Subscribe | Feedback  

[Download PDF
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 193-196  

Pulmonary choriostoma in a case of tuberous sclerosis complex

S Spalgais1, D Gothi1, AK Verma2,  
1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, ESI-Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (PGIMSR), Delhi, India
2 Department of Pathology, ESI-Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (PGIMSR), Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
D Gothi
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, ESI-Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (PGIMSR), Delhi


A 52 years old lady was diagnosed to have Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) on the basis of 2 major and one minor criterion. She had family history of similar complaints in her sister and two sons. There was involvement of kidney in the form of angiomyolipoma, skin in the form of facial angiofibroma and teeth with a dental pit. She had an unusual lung involvement in the form of multiple small choristomas. Choristoma was diagnosed on transbronchial lung biopsy and was present in the form of disorganised striated muscles. The reported pulmonary manifestations of TCS i.e. lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and multifocal micronodular pneumocyte hyperplasia (MMPH) are types of hamartomas. Hamartomas and choristomas are both types of disorganized tissue. «SQ»Choristoma«SQ»of lung in TSC however is not reported. Clinopathological correlation of pulmonary hamartoma and choristoma, and treatment in TSC has been discussed.

How to cite this article:
Spalgais S, Gothi D, Verma A K. Pulmonary choriostoma in a case of tuberous sclerosis complex.J Postgrad Med 2015;61:193-196

How to cite this URL:
Spalgais S, Gothi D, Verma A K. Pulmonary choriostoma in a case of tuberous sclerosis complex. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Sep 27 ];61:193-196
Available from:

Full Text

 Case Details

A 52 year old lady, normotensive, non-diabetic and non-smoker was referred to pulmonary medicine department of our institute for the evaluation of pulmonary nodules. She did not have significant respiratory complaints. She did however have a history of multiple admissions in the Medicine department during the past year for year for anaemia, anasarca and hydronephrosis. She also had history of non-progressive facial lesions since early childhood and similar lesions in one of her sons. Her sister died at the age of 40 of a seizure disorder. On examination, her vital parameters were normal. There were non tender, non- progressive, pale brown, papular lesions of about 2 to 8 mm over the cheeks. There was poor orodental hygiene with one dental pit found on oral examination. Systemic examination did not reveal any significant abnormality. Dermatological consultation diagnosed the skin lesions as facial angiofibromas (adenoma sebaceum). She was also detected to have mild mental retardation on psychiatric evaluation. Ophthalmological examination was normal.


The routine biochemical and hematological investigations were normal except for iron deficiency anaemia (hemoglobin-9.8gms/dl). The computed tomography of kidney, ureter and bladder showed multiple variable sized focal masses containing macroscopic fats almost completely replacing bilateral renal parenchyma suggestive of bilateral renal angiomyolipoma [Figure 1]. The magnetic resolution imaging (MRI) of brain was normal as was the ECG and 2D ECHO. Endocrine evaluation showed hypothyroidism with thyroid stimulating hormone of 8.3IU/ml. An ultrasonography of the neck showed a 11 mm cystic lesion with thin septation in left lobe of thyroid. Thyroid scan showed mildly increased uptake with cold area in inferior pole of left thyroid. Fine needle aspiration cytology was consistent with a benign follicular nodule. The chest radiograph showed a few calcific lesions in both upper lobes with a few nodular lesions in lower lobes. High resolution computed tomography (HRCT) chest showed multiple randomly distributed nodules of about 4 to 13 mm in size in bilateral lung fields. Some of them showed calcification in the periphery and some of them were calcified completely. In addition there were cystic change in lingular region suggestive of localized lymphangioleomyoma [Figure 4]a-d. Spirometry showed restrictive pattern with forced vital capacity (FVC) 1.56 litre (55% predicted), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV 1) 1.28 litre (53%) and FEV1/FVC-82%.{Figure 1}

 Pathological Findings

Lung tissue from the transbronchial biopsy showed largely normal lung tissue with one small bit showing a microcyst lined by cuboidal epithelium containing abnormally formed skeletal muscle with striations in the background of normal alveolar tissue suggestive of choristoma of lung [Figure 5]a & b.

 Clinical Diagnosis and Discussion

She was diagnosed to have tuberous sclerosis on the basis of two major criteria i.e. facial angiofibroma and angiomyolipoma of kidney.On family screening, one of her sons had mild mental retardation with multiple signal alteration seen in bilateral cerebral parenchyma in a nodular pattern, predominently located in the cortical region of bilateral high frontoparietal region on MRI of brain [Figure 2].The other son had facial angiofibromas [Figure 3], renal angiomyolipoma and mild mental retardation.{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}


The Choristoma of lung and localized lymphangiomyoma did not require treatment. The patient refused surgical removal of angiomyolipoma. She was treated with sirolimus 2 mg per day for angiomyolipoma. The patient discontinued it after 2 months due to stomatitis and vomiting. She was also given levothyroxine and iron supplements for hypothyroidism and iron deficiency anaemia respectively. Patient is now on regular follow up for the last two years without disease progression. A comparative HRCT is given in [Figure 6]a & b.{Figure 6}

 Differential Diagnosis

TSC is diagnosed on the basis of diagnostic criterion consisting of 11 major and 9 minor features [Table 1]. A definitive diagnosis of TCS either needs two major or one major plus 2 minor features. [1] Our patient had two major and one minor features as highlighted in bold text in [Table 1] confirming the diagnosis of TSC. The family history further supported the diagnosis.{Table 1}

The reported lung manifestation of TCS are lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), multifocal micronodular pneumocyte hyperplasia (MMPH), and clear cell tumour, of which LAM and MMPH are hamartomas. [2] Radiologically, MMPH presents as small, multiple randomly distributed nodules, LAM has cysts and clear cell tumour is a small solitary pulmonary nodule. [2],[3],[4] Our case on HRCT had multiple, randomly scattered nodules suggestive of MMPH. The nodules of MMPH are however less than 10 mm. These nodules do not have calcification and usually there is ground glass opacification. [4] The nodules in our patient were >10 mm. There was calcification and absence of ground glass opacity. The unusual features suggested either these lesions were precursor of LAM similar to histeocytosis X which is known to evolve from nodules,or variant of MMPH with calcification or a new manifestation of TSC. Transbronchial lung biopsy showed disorganised skeletal muscle suggesting the diagnosis of choristoma. The commonly seen lesions in TSC are hamartomas. Pathologically, pulmonary hamartoma is a benign neoplasm composed of cartilage, connective tissue, smooth muscle, fat, and bone. [5] All these are native to lung. 'Choristoma' is an entity similar to hamartoma but having non-native heterotopic tissue. Choristomahas not been reported in TSC. The other lesions seen in our patient on HRCT were cysts in lingular lobe. Characteristic features of pulmonary LAM are round, thin-walled cysts of variable size and contour distributed uniformly throughout the lungs with normal intervening parenchyma.They can involve the juxtaphrenic recesses and medial tips of the middle lobe and lingual but spare the extreme apices. [6] Thus, the cystic lesions involving lingular lobe suggested the diagnosis of localized LAM.

 Clinicopathological correlation

Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TCS) is an autosomal dominant multisystem disorder characterised by the development of multiple hamartomas in numerous organs including central nervous system, skin, heart, kidney, eye and the lungs affecting 1 in 6000 people. [7] The classical combination of seizures, mental retardation, and adenoma sebaceum also known as Vogt's triad is seen in only one-third of patients. Many of the TSC manifestations are hamartomasas shown in [Table 1] in italics. Of these, the skin, kidneys, brain, and heart hamartomas are very common. Hamartomas involving the retina, gingiva, bones, gastrointestinal tract, and lungs are rare. [8]

The pulmonary manifestations of TSC are primarily hamartomas. Hamartomas consists of tumorous native tissue whereas choristomas consists of of non-native abbarant rest. Hamartoma and choristoma, both are types of heteroplasias. Heteroplasia is defined as the development of cytological and histological elements that are not normal for the organ or part, in which they occur, or malposition of tissue/part that is otherwise normal. The former is choristoma, while the latter is hamartoma. Both are disorganized normal tissues of the body. [5] Choristoma (aberrant rest, heterotopic tissue) is histologically non-neoplastic tissue proliferationor nodule formation seldom reaching size greater than 1.5 cm. [9],[10] It may be single or multiple and may calcify. [10] Some of the choristomas had calcified in our case. The biopsy had picked up a non-calcified lesion hence calcification was not seen on biopsy but calcification was seen on HRCT. Skeletal muscle choristomas have been reported as an incidental finding associated with congenital anomalies of lung [11] but not with TCS.

Renal angiomyolipoma in our patient was diagnosed on the basis of macroscopic fat on CT scan, which is a characteristic feature of angiomyolipoma. [12] Angiomyolipoma usually presents with Wunderlich syndrome,retroperitoneal hemorrhage, shock, or hyodronephrosis. Wunderlich syndrome is a rare condition, where spontaneous renal haemorrhage occurs into the subcapsular and perirenal spaces. Retroperitoneal hemorrhage is the commonest manifestation whereas hydronephrosis, the manifestation observed in our patient is seen rarely. [13]

Follicular thyroid lesion seen in our patient could be incidental or a manifestation of TSC. It is difficult to prove or disprove one or the other. This is because small series and case reports have documented that tuberous sclerosis patients may have endocrine system alterations leading to dysfunction of the pituitary, parathyroid and other neuroendocrine tissue. [14] Pituitary adenomas, parathyroid adenomas and gastroenteropancreatic and adrenomedullary neuroendocrine tumours have been suggested as a feature of TSC. [14] Benign thyroid nodules have not yet been reported in patients with TSC. Hence it is either a possible association or an incidental finding.

There is no definite treatment for TSC. Surgical treatment is indicated for subependymal giant cell astrocytomas and symptomatic angiomyolipoma of more than 4 cm. Embolization of angiomyolipoma may also be performed if the size is more than 5cm. [2] Sirolimus is the only drug approved for the treatment of TSC. The indication for sirolimus in TSC is subependymal giant cell astrocytomas that cannot be removed surgically. Sirolimus has been also been studied in multiple randomized controlled trials for the management of kidney angiomyolipomas. Studies have shown that renal angiomyolipoma shrink during sirolimus therapy but tend to regrow after the therapy is stopped. [15]

The most commonly reported sirolimus related adverse reactions are stomatitis, respiratory infection, skin lesions and hyperlipidemia. Our patient denied surgical management hence medical management was given, but it had to be stopped due to intolerable side effects.


In conclusion, Tuberous sclerosis complex is a multisystem disorder with formation of hamartoma in various organs. In addition to hamartoma of lung, choristoma, which is also a disorganized tissue, may be seen in TSC. Endocrine involvement may also be a feature of TSC. Medical treatment of TCS primarily consists of use of sirolimus.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest


1Roach ES, Gomez MR, Northrup H. Tuberous sclerosis complex consensus conference: Revised clinical diagnostic criteria. J Child Neurol 1998;13:624-8.
2Franz DN. Non-Neurologic Manifestations of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex J Child Neurol 2004;19:690-8.
3Moss J, Avila NA, Barnes PM, Litzenberger RA, Bechtle J, Brooks PG. et al. Prevalence and clinical characteristics of lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2001;163:669-1.
4Kobashi Y, Sugiu T, Mouri K, Irei T, Nakata M, Oka M: Multifocal micronodular pneumocyte hyperplasia associated with tuberous sclerosis: differentiation from multiple atypical adenomatous hyperplasia.Jpn J Clin Oncol 2008; 38:451-4.
5Kumar VK, Abbas AK, Aster JC. Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, 7 th ed. Philadelphia (Pennsylvania): Elsevier Saunders; 2014.
6Baskin HJ Jr. The pathogenesis and imaging of the tuberous sclerosis complex. Pediatr Radiol 2008;38:936-52.
7Salant DJ and Patel PS. Polycystic kidney disease and other inherited Tubular Disorders. In: Harrison′s Text book Principles of Internal Medicine. Editors. George W. Thorn. Mc Graw Hill Medical:New yook 17 th edition 2008. p. 1800.
8Wu K, Tazelaar HD. Pulmonary angiomyolipomas nand multifocal micronodular pneumocyte hyperplasianassociated with tuberous sclerosis. HumPathol1999;30:1266-8.
9Osseous/Cartilaginous Choristoma., accessed on 15th February 2015. [Last accessed on 2015 Feb 15].
10Bansal R. Choristoma of the Oral Cavity. Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology 2010;53:373.
11Fraggetta F, Davenport M, Magro G, Cacciaguerra S, Nash R. Striated muscle cells in non-neoplastic lung tissue: a clinicopathologic study. Hum Pathol. 2000;31:1477-81.
12Evans JC, Curtis J. The radiological appearance of tuberous sclerosis. British Journal of Radiology 2000;73:91-8.
13Katz E, Rapp D, Lucioni A, Sokoloff M. Angiomyolipoma Lesion Causing Unilateral Ureteral Obstruction. The Internet Journal of Urology. 2004 Volume 2 Number 2, available at, accessed on 15th January 2015
14DworakowskaDorota, Grossman AB. Are neuroendocrine tumours a feature of tuberous sclerosis? A systematic review Endocrine-Related Cancer 2009;16:45-58.
15Peng ZF, Yang L, Wang TT, Han P, Liu ZH, Wei Q. Efficacy and safety of sirolimus for renal angiomyolipoma in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex or sporadic lymphangioleiomyomatosis: a systematic review. J Urol 2014;192:1424-30.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023
 Site Map | Home | Contact Us | Feedback | Copyright  and disclaimer