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Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Massive lung collapse with partial resolution after several years: a case report

Elke Govaere1, Dirk Van Raemdonck2, Hugo Devlieger1, Maria-Helena Smet3, Eric Verbeken4, Marijke Proesmans1 and Kris De Boeck1*

Author Affiliations

1 University Hospital of Leuven, Dept of Pediatrics, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

2 Dept Thoracic Surgery, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

3 Dept Radiology, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

4 Dept of Pathology, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

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BMC Pediatrics 2005, 5:39  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-5-39

Published: 21 October 2005



Bronchitis obliterans is a severe and extremely rare complication of respiratory tract infections in children and is characterized by massive atelectasis and collapse of the affected lung. Of the rare cases reported in the literature all surviving children underwent surgical resection of the collapsed lung.

Case presentation

We report an infant with bronchitis obliterans that was treated conservatively. 5 years after the initial event, partial lung re-expansion was documented.


This case therefore supports a conservative treatment whenever possible with pneumonectomy only as a last treatment option.