A multifaceted approach to the management of plastic bronchitis after cavopulmonary palliation.

TitleA multifaceted approach to the management of plastic bronchitis after cavopulmonary palliation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsAvitabile CM, Goldberg DJ, Dodds K, Dori Y, Ravishankar C, Rychik J
JournalAnn Thorac Surg
Volume98
Issue2
Pagination634-40
Date Published2014 Aug
ISSN1552-6259
KeywordsBronchitis, Child, Preschool, Combined Modality Therapy, Female, Fontan Procedure, Humans, Infant, Male, Palliative Care, Retrospective Studies
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Plastic bronchitis is a rare, potentially life-threatening complication after Fontan operation. Hemodynamic alterations (elevated central venous pressure and low cardiac output) likely contribute to the formation of tracheobronchial casts composed of inflammatory debris, mucin, and fibrin. Pathologic studies of cast composition support medical treatment with fibrinolytics such as inhaled tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA).

METHODS: This was a retrospective case series of medical, surgical, and catheter-based treatment of patients with plastic bronchitis after cavopulmonary palliation.

RESULTS: Included were 14 patients (86% male, 93% white). Median age at Fontan operation was 2.7 years (range, 1.2 to 4.1 years), with median interval to plastic bronchitis presentation of 1.5 years (range, 9 days to 15.4 years). Cast composition was available for 11 patients (79%) and included fibrin deposits in 7. All patients were treated with pulmonary vasodilators, and 13 (93%) were treated with inhaled t-PA. Hemodynamically significant lesions in the Fontan pathway were addressed by catheter-based (n=9) and surgical (n=3) interventions. Three patients (21%) underwent heart transplantation. Median follow-up was 2.7 years (range, 0.6 to 8.7 years). Symptoms improved, such that 6 of 13 patients (46%) were weaned off t-PA. Rare or episodic casts are successfully managed with outpatient t-PA in most of the other patients. Of the 3 patients who underwent heart transplant, 2 are asymptomatic and 1 has recurrent casts in the setting of elevated filling pressures and rejection.

CONCLUSIONS: A systematic step-wise algorithm that includes optimization of hemodynamics, aggressive pulmonary vasodilation, and inhaled t-PA is an effective treatment strategy for patients with plastic bronchitis after cavopulmonary connection.

DOI10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.04.015
Alternate JournalAnn Thorac Surg
PubMed ID24841545
PubMed Central IDPMC4425256
Grant ListT32 HL007915 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
T32-HL-007915 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States