Search Journal-type in search term and press enter
Social Media-Follow Southwest Journal of Pulmonary and Critical Care on Facebook and Twitter
« Medical Image of the Week: Pulmonary Artery Dilation | Main | January 2018 Imaging Case of the Month »

Medical Image of the Week: Plastic Bronchitis

Figure 1. Cast removed from the right main stem.


Figure 2. Casts removed from right lower lobe.


Plastic Bronchitis is a rare syndrome characterized with expectoration of bronchial casts.  Conditions associated with plastic bronchitis in adults include asthma, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis, amyloidosis, sickle cell anemia and rheumatoid arthritis. In children, is its associated with congenital heart diseases (1).

Typical casts are large and branched. These can be expectorated or removed endoscopically as in our case of a 52-year old man with respiratory failure (Figures 1 and 2). The exact etiology of his plastic bronchitis remains obscure. These casts were removed using a bronchoscope with a cryotherapy probe. 

Lauren Estep MD and Bhupinder Natt MD FACP

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep

Banner-University Medical Center, Tucson, AZ USA


  1. Itkin MG, McCormack FX, Dori Y. Diagnosis and treatment of lymphatic plastic bronchitis in adults using advanced lymphatic imaging and percutaneous embolization. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016 Oct;13(10):1689-96. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cite as: Estep L, Natt B. Medical image of the week: plastic bronchitis. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2018;16(1):28. doi: PDF 

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>