Bronchoscopic instillation of DNase to manage refractory lobar atelectasis in a lung cancer patient
Lobar atelectasis is a common complication in lung cancer. It can be caused by direct endobronchial tumorous seeding or indirectly by mucus plugs due to bacterial lung infections. Treatment is usually conservative, with or without therapeutic bronchoscopy. Dornase alfa is a recombinant human deoxyribonuclease I (rhDNase), an enzyme that selectively cleaves DNA, thus reducing mucous viscosity. rhDNase has been used as a mucolytic agent in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Though bronchoscopically instilled rhDNase has been reported as a treatment for persistent lobar atelectasis in newborn and pediatric populations, its use in adults has not been well established.