Plastic Bronchitis

Clin Chest Med. 2016 Sep;37(3):405-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2016.04.003. Epub 2016 Jun 15.


Plastic bronchitis is an uncommon and probably underrecognized disorder, diagnosed by the expectoration or bronchoscopic removal of firm, cohesive, branching casts. It should not be confused with purulent mucous plugging of the airway as seen in patients with cystic fibrosis or bronchiectasis. Few medications have been shown to be effective and some are now recognized as potentially harmful. Current research directions in plastic bronchitis research include understanding the genetics of lymphatic development and maldevelopment, determining how abnormal lymphatic malformations contribute to cast formation, and developing new treatments.

Keywords: Cast bronchitis; Congenital heart disease; Fontan physiology; Mucin; Mucus; Pulmonary lymphatics; Secretory hyperresponsiveness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchitis / etiology
  • Bronchitis / pathology
  • Bronchitis / therapy*
  • Bronchoscopy*
  • Chest Wall Oscillation
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy*
  • Heart Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Ligation
  • Lymphatic Diseases / complications
  • Lymphatic Diseases / therapy*
  • Lymphatic Vessels / abnormalities
  • Lymphatic Vessels / surgery
  • Thoracic Duct / surgery*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones