The potentially lethal nature of bronchial casts: Plastic bronchitis

Mariana M. Cajaiba, Paula Borralho, Miguel Reyes-Múgica*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The gross and microscopic findings from 2 fatal cases of plastic bronchitis (PB) in children, a rare entity characterized by the formation of large mucous casts in the bronchial tree, are presented. These casts differ from ordinary mucus because of their increased cohesiveness and consistency, resulting in solid structures that model the respiratory airway tree. PB usually presents as a complication of underlying diseases, which determine the prognosis of the afflicted patients. Conditions commonly associated with PB include congenital cardiopathies, lymph vessel malformations, asthma, and sickle cell disease. The first case is a typical example of PB following surgical treatment of a cyanotic cardiopathy, with very characteristic and illustrative morphology. The second case describes the fatal course of PB in a patient with sickle cell disease, which has never been reported to the best of the authors' knowledge; in this case, an overlooked association with asthma could have contributed to the fatal outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-232
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Bronchial casts
  • Cyanotic cardiopathy
  • Plastic bronchitis
  • Sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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