Successful treatment of persistent empyema by intrapleural streptokinase is described in five pediatric patients. Their ages ranged from 18 months to 7 years. All experienced dramatic improvement in the resolution of their empyemas following intrapleural streptokinase. Improved chest tube drainage occurred concurrently with clinical improvement. Intrapleural instillation of streptokinase appears to be a safe adjunctive therapeutic tool to facilitate drainage of persistent empyema in the small number of pediatric patients in whom it has been employed. Additional study will be required to further assess the long-term therapeutic efficacy and consequences of intrapleural streptokinase therapy.