A 56-year-old Japanese male with persistent cough, stridor and diffuse wheezing for 6 months had obstructive pulmonary dysfunction and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to inhaled methacholine. Because of a poor response to glucocorticoid therapy and neutrophilia in the peripheral blood and sputum, chest computed tomography was performed and a plate-like tumor in the truncus intermedius was identified. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy demonstrated a plate-like green-colored tumor firmly impacted into the truncus intermedius and diffuse inflammatory changes spreading to both main bronchi. A piece of ‘kombu’ (Japanese kelp) was successfully removed by fiberoptic bronchoscopy under general anesthesia. Pulmonary function and methacholine inhalation tests became normal after the removal of the foreign body. In this case, it is suggested that asthma-like symptoms were due to localized airflow limitation in the right bronchus as well as to AHR associated with diffuse airway neutrophilic inflammation.

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