Pulmonary Hamartoma

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HAMARTOMA has been described in most organs of the body. Earliest recognition of this tumor is credited to Chiari1 in 1833. Albrecht,2 in 1904, described a vascular tumor of the liver, and suggested the term “hamartoma” or “error tumor.” In so doing, Albrecht proposed the concept of a tumor formed by the normal tissue elements expected in that location. The term “reduplication cyst” has also been used to indicate a growth whose tissue elements are abnormal only in their quantitative value.

The hamartoma is not always a vascular neoplasm. In the lung this tumor usually is composed of bronchial elements including cartilage, muscle, fat, and mucosa. The bronchial hamartoma is ordinarily a solitary parenchymal lesion but may appear as a pedunculated, endobronchial growth. The latter type is rare; less than 15 case reports are found in the literature.3


Hamartoma of the lung is an uncommon tumor. Many are described as incidental postmortem findings which apparently had produced no clinical symptoms. Johnson and Clagett4 report 2 hamartomas in a series of 384 lung resections of all types, an incidence of 0.5 per cent. Effler and Blades5 list 1 hamartoma in a series of 24 resected solitary lung tumors which were asymptomatic.

The endobronchial hamartoma is extremely rare. Postlethwait and Hagerty3 collected 12 cases in the world literature and reported 1 of their own. Nine of these were detected clinically, while 3 were discovered at autopsy.


The etiology of pulmonary hamartoma is not understood. A summary of the etiologic concepts. . .



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