Last Reviewed : 12/24/2020

Bronchiectasis is a disease in which there is permanent enlargement of parts of the airways of the lung. Symptoms typically include a chronic cough productive of mucus. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and chest pain. Wheezing and nail clubbing may also occur, although clubbing is uncommon. Those with the disease often get frequent lung infections.

Bronchiectasis may result from a number of infective and acquired causes, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, immune system problems, and cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis eventually results in severe bronchiectasis in nearly all cases. The cause in 10-50% of those without cystic fibrosis is unknown. The mechanism of disease is breakdown of the airways due to an excessive inflammatory response. Involved bronchi become enlarged and thus less able to clear secretions. These secretions increase the amount of bacteria in the lungs, result in airway blockage and further breakdown of the airways. It is classified as an obstructive lung disease, along with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. The diagnosis is suspect based on a person's symptoms and confirmed using computed tomography. Sputum cultures may be useful to determine treatment in those who have acute worsening and at least once a year.

Worsening may occur due to infection and in these cases antibiotics are recommended. Typical antibiotics used include amoxicillin and in those who are allergic erythromycin or doxycycline. Antibiotics may also be used to prevent worsening of disease. Airway clearance techniques, a type of physiotherapy, are recommended. Medications to dilate the airways may be useful in some but the evidence is not very good. The use of inhaled steroids have not been found to be useful. Surgery, while commonly done, has not been well studied. Lung transplantation may be an option in those with very severe disease. While the disease may cause significant health problems many other people with the disease do well.

In the United Kingdom the disease affects about 1 per 1000 adults. The disease is more common in women and increases as people age. It was first described by Rene Laennec in 1819. The economic costs in the United States are estimated at $630 million per year.


We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information: healhline bronchiectasis nhs uk bronchiectasis national heart lung and blood institute what is bronchiectasis? msd manuals(consumer version) bronchiectasis medicine net bronchiectasis emedicine health bronchiectasis kids bronchiectasis health navigator bronchiectasis canoe bronchiectasis webmd bronchiectasis bronchiectasis health service executive bronchiectasis


Advanced information: medscape bronchiectasis patient bronchiectasis radio pedia bronchiectasis lung foundation australia bronchiectasis msd manuals(professional version) bronchiectasis bronchiectasis news today bronchiectasis european lung white book bronchiectasis bronchiectasis by luce cantin,alexander a. Bankier,ronald l. Eisenberg. Ajr 2009; 193:w158–w171 0361–803x/09/1933–w158 who chronic respiratory diseases bronchiectasis bronchiectasis physio pedia bronchiectasis family practise notebook bronchiectasis and autoimmune disease by d.j. Dhasmana and r. Wilson


Research: clinics vol.67 no.11 são paulo nov. 2012 review:airway disease: similarities and differences between asthma, copd and bronchiectasis by rodrigo athanazio et al;year=2006;volume=1;issue=2;spage=81;epage=83;aulast=shankar shankar g, kothari p, sarda d, kulkarni b, kalgutkar a. Pneumonectomy in a child with congenital bronchiectasis: a case report and review of literature. Ann thorac med 2006;1:81-3 coronary artery bypass surgery in a patient with kartagener syndrome: a case report and literature review by ioannis bougioukas et al., journal of cardiothoracic surgery20105:68 doi: 10.1186/1749-8090-5-68 clinical application of exhaled nitric oxide measurement in pediatric lung diseases by angelo manna et al., italian journal of pediatrics201238:74 doi: 10.1186/1824-7288-38-74;year=2007;volume=2;issue=1;spage=3;epage=8;aulast=banjar banjar hh. A review of 151 cases of pediatric noncystic fibrosis bronchiectasis in a tertiary care center. Ann thorac med 2007;2:3-8 the effects of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis: protocol for a randomised controlled trial by annemarie l lee et al., bmc pulmonary medicinebmc series ¿ open, inclusive and trusted201010:5 doi: 10.1186/1471-2466-10-5;year=2014;volume=60;issue=1;spage=41;epage=45;aulast=sehgal sehgal i s, agarwal r. Role of inhaled amphotericin in allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. J postgrad med 2014;60:41-5 surgical treatment of complications of pulmonary tuberculosis, including drug-resistant tuberculosis by rajhmun madansein et al., international journal of infectious diseasesvolume 32, march 2015, pages 61–67 special issue: commemorating world tuberculosis day 2015 doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2015.01.019;year=2009;volume=26;issue=2;spage=38;epage=40;aulast=prasad prasad r, garg r, sanjay, shukla a d. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis: a review of 42 patients from a tertiary care center in india. Lung india 2009;26:38-40;year=2008;volume=54;issue=1;spage=32;epage=34;aulast=kuruvilla kuruvilla s, saldanha r, joseph l d. Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis complicated by aspergillosis: a case report with review of literature. J postgrad med 2008;54:32-4;year=2011;volume=6;issue=1;spage=25;epage=32;aulast=cobanoglu cobanoglu u, yalcinkaya i, er m, isik af, sayir f, mergan d. Surgery for bronchiectasis: the effect of morphological types to prognosis. Ann thorac med 2011;6:25-32 original article:bronchiectasis is a chronic progressive lung condition characterized by irreversible dilation of diseased bronchus by shen-hao lai, md; kin-sun wong, md; sui-ling liao chang gung med j vol. 27 no. 2 february 2004;year=2013;volume=10;issue=3;spage=289;epage=291;aulast=takahashi takahashi t, okazaki t, doi t, koga h, suzuki k, lane gj, yamataka a. Video-assisted thoracoscopic double lobectomy for bronchiectasis: a case report and literature review. Afr j paediatr surg 2013;10:289-91;year=2015;volume=128;issue=20;spage=2792;epage=2797;aulast=miao miao xy, ji xb, lu hw, yang jw, xu jf. Distribution of major pathogens from sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in patients with noncystic fibrosis bronchiectasis: a systematic review. Chin med j 2015;128:2792-7;year=2006;volume=1;issue=1;spage=41;epage=51;aulast=al-shirawi al-shirawi n, al-jahdali hh, al shimemeri a. Pathogenesis, etiology and treatment of bronchiectasis. Ann thorac med 2006;1:41-51 effect of long-term, low-dose erythromycin on pulmonary exacerbations among patients with non–cystic fibrosis bronchiectasisthe bless randomized controlled trial by david j. Serisier, mbbs, dm, fracp et al., jama. 2013;309(12):1260-1267. Doi:10.1001/jama.2013.2290 non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis by paulo c neves et al., interact cardiovasc thorac surg(2012) 13 (6): 619-625.doi: 10.1510/icvts.2011.284208


Other helpful resources(support groups): british lung foundation asthma respiratory foundation new zealand irish lung foundation


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Can't shift that chesty cough? It could be a deadly lung disease... And it's on the rise in middle-class women
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