Table 1

Key differences between tracheobronchial diseases

Granulomatosis with polyangiitisTracheobronchial amyloidosisTracheopathia osteochondroplasticaTracheobronchial papillomatosisRelapsing polychondritis
CauseVasculitis of uncertain cause (probable hypersensitivity reaction)Idiopathic or associated with various inflammatory, hereditary or neoplastic pathogensIdiopathic benign diseaseInfection of the upper respiratory tract by the human papillomavirusAutoimmune
RadiologyCircumferential mucosal thickening of the trachea and central bronchi; may appear with subglottic stenosisCircumferential nodular or regular thickening of trachea, central bronchi and pharynx; may have calcificationUsually calcified nodules sparing the posterior wall of the trachea; frequently in the inferior two-thirds of the trachea and proximal bronchiMultiple non-calcified polypoid lesions narrowing the airway; more frequent in larynx; rarely affects small airwaysRegular thickening sparing the posterior wall of the trachea; affects upper trachea and larynx most frequently
PresentationGlomerulonephritis, systemic vasculitis, oral ulcer, myalgias; respiratory symptoms usually appear laterAsymptomatic, dyspnoea, cough, recurrent infection, wheezing; variable symptoms according to affected organAsymptomatic, cough, dyspnoea, recurrent infection, wheezing, haemoptysisHoarseness, choking episodes, cough, dyspnoea, stridorAuricular and nasal chondritis, ocular inflammation, polyarthritis, audio vestibular damage, tracheomalacia
HistologyMucosal and submucosal inflammatory infiltrate and ulcer; poorly formed granulomasSubmucosal deposits of proteinaceous material (amyloid) that stain with Congo redSubmucosal osteocartilaginous nodules; may display a connection to the perichondrium of a tracheal ringMild to moderate dysplasia; papillomatosis and basal hyperplasiaInflammation and destruction of the cartilaginous rings