Fatal Progressive Membranous Obliterative Bronchitis: A Sequela of Influenza?

J Bronchology Interv Pulmonol. 2017 Jan;24(1):88-91. doi: 10.1097/LBR.0000000000000353.


Occlusion of the bronchial orifices by tissue-like structures is an uncommonly reported finding: it has been referred to as bronchial webs, bronchial synechiae, vanishing bronchus syndrome, or membranous obliterative bronchitis. It differs from bronchiolitis obliterans, a well-described clinical entity that involves smaller airways not visualized on bronchoscopy. Although initially only recognized as a congenital condition, later reports have described it in situations where chronic inflammation results in the irritation of the airways. Here we report a case of a woman with postinfectious bronchiectasis who developed membranous occlusion of multiple subsegmental bronchi, resulting in progressive airflow obstruction and postobstructive collapse of involved lung parenchyma. This process eventually caused her demise. It the first report of membranous occlusion of the bronchi in an adult who does not have cystic fibrosis or a history of lung transplantation. Clinicians should be aware of this entity, and further research could help illuminate its pathogenesis and management.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / complications*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Atelectasis / diagnosis*