A man in eastern China was shocked to discover dozens of tooth-like growths inside his throat after suffering from shortness of breath.
Doctors in Jiangsu Province found hard nodular objects in the shape of tiny teeth along the patient’s airway during a check-up.
The condition, known as Tracheobroncheopathia Osteochondroplastica (TO), is extremely rare as there have been less than 400 cases reported worldwide.
A man was diagnosed with a rare condition that led to the growth of nodules in his airway
According to Kan Kan News, Mr Zhang, who had been working away from home, started to have difficulties in breathing about half a year ago.
Dr Zhu Xiangping, from Jiangsu Subei People’s Hospital, conducted a biopsy for Mr Zhang and found an accumulation of bony and cartilaginous nodules in his trachea.
‘The nodules appeared in white and looked like tiny tooth. They were so hard that they could not be removed,’ said Dr Zhu.
Dr Zhu confirmed to the reporter that Mr Zhang had Tracheobroncheopathia Osteochondroplastica (TO).
The disease was first found by Samuel Wilks, a British physician, in 1857, stated the British Journal of Anaesthesia.
Doctor diagnosed Mr Zhang with Tracheobroncheopathia Osteochondroplastica after a biopsy
Mr Zhang’s airway was covered with tiny tooth-like nodules that cannot be removed
Dr Zhu, pictured, said there were less than 400 cases of this benign disease around the world
The cause of the disease remains unknown to date, but a case report in the US was said to be related to skin cancer.
Dr Zhu said the lumps were benign.
He also said there were less than 10 cases of Tracheobroncheopathia Osteochondroplastica in China, and less than 400 cases around the world.
The bony nodules grew along the patient’s airway up to 10 millimetres (0.39 inches), triggering coughs and blood in mucus.
As the number of nodules increased, the patient will also suffer shortness of breath.
Dr Zhu stated there were only temporary methods to cure Mr Zhang’s disease.
‘Laser therapy, airway stenting or the use of soft tissue ablation techniques can only relieve the symptoms, but the condition cannot be totally cured,’ said Dr Zhu.