Pulmonary chondroma


A benign tumour composed of (myxo)hyaline cartilage, usually forming part of Carney's triad along with gastrointestinal stromal tumour and paraganglioma1,2. Benign adrenocortical tumours2 and possibly other tumours3 may also be part of the syndrome.




Most cases occur in young women2.

Clinical features

Most cases are asymptomatic


The lesions are peripheral, forming well demarcated masses with central or "popcorn" calcification. They are often multiple, sometimes numerous4. Rarely they appear to replace an entire lung4. The radiological differential diagnosis includes metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumour.

Macroscopic appearances

The lesions are circumscribed, often enucleate at at surgery and are calcified. They are often bosselated with a cartilaginous cut surface4. Less often, they are gelatinous, cystic, haemorrhagic or necrotic4.


The nodules of cartilage are myxoid and hypocellular, with no cytological features of malignancy. They have a thin pseudocapsule4.

Differential diagnosis


Local excision.


Further pulmonary nodule soften develop but metastases do not occur. Patients are likely to develop the other features of Carney's triad.


1 Carney JA The triad of gastric epithelioid leiomyosarcoma, functioning extra-adrenal paraganglioma, and pulmonary chondroma. Cancer 1979; 43:374-82

2 Carney JA Gastric stromal sarcoma, pulmonary chondroma, and extra-adrenal paraganglioma (Carney Triad): natural history, adrenocortical component, and possible familial occurrence. Mayo Clin Proc 1999; 74:543-52

3 Scopsi L, Collini P,Muscolino G A new observation of the Carney's triad with long follow-Up period and additional tumors. Cancer Detect Prev 1999; 23:435-43

4 Rodriguez FJ, Aubry MC, Tazelaar HD, et al. Pulmonary chondroma: a tumor associated with Carney triad and different from pulmonary hamartoma. Am J Surg Pathol 2007; 31:1844-53


This page last revised 7.3.2008.

©SMUHT/PW Bishop