Plastic bronchitis or cast bronchitis is a rare disease of unclear etiology characterized by formation of airway casts that can lead to life-threatening airway obstruction. There is currently limited data regarding optimal treatment of plastic bronchitis. Several therapies have been suggested, but recurrences are common and mortality remains high. We report the case of a 6-year-old boy with refractory eosinophilic bronchial casts, unresponsive to low-dose systemic corticosteroids, inhaled corticosteroids, azithromycin, and dornase alfa, who was treated successfully and safely with direct instillation of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) to the obstructing casts during flexible bronchoscopy and inhaled tPA. Our case illustrates that the current therapy for plastic bronchitis remains inadequate. To our knowledge, this case is the first to show that direct instillation of tPA can be used safely for treatment of this disease. The use of tPA via direct administration into the airways during bronchoscopy and via a nebulizer appeared to be a safe and effective therapy for plastic bronchitis and should be considered early in the course of the disease to prevent complications of severe airway obstruction.

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