Authors: J. Lee (University of Arizona College of Medicine) , K. Stanley (University of Arizona College of Medicine) , M.C. Lowe (University of Arizona College of Medicine)
Plastic bronchitis, more appropriately termed chyloptysis, is a rare and potentially fatal condition caused by chylous coating of the airways. These cast coating can dislodge and become an obstructive mass in the patient's airway, necessitating rapid intervention. PB is well described to occur following single ventricle physiology heart disease corrective procedures, particularly following Fontan procedures. It is less commonly seen in traumatic settings. We present the youngest known case of a traumatic injury induced plastic bronchitis. A 19-year-old man was involved in a motor vehicle accident with airbag deployment. The airbags struck him in the chest; however, the patient felt well at the time and did not seek medical attention. Several months later the patient began coughing up milky white masses identified as casts. He was initially diagnosed with asthma but did not respond to therapy. He ultimately was found to have evidence of thoracic duct injury. Options for therapy were discussed, including possible thoracic duct ligation. The patient opted to continue a low-fat diet and has remained cast free. This case highlights the importance of considering plastic bronchitis in patients with cast production and a history of trauma to the chest.
Keywords: plastic bronchitis, chyloptysis, casts, trauma, thoracic duct, lymphatic imaging
How to Cite: Lee, J. , Stanley, K. & Lowe, M. (2022) “PLASTIC BRONCHITIS: A RARE COMPLICATION FOLLOWING A MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION”, Lymphology. 55(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/lymph.5268None