Bronchiectasis is destruction and widening of the large airways.
If the condition is present at birth, it is called congenital bronchiectasis.
If it develops later in life, it is called acquired bronchiectasis.
Acquired bronchiectasis; Congenital bronchiectasis
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Bronchiectasis is often caused by recurrent inflammation or infection of the airways. Sometimes it begins in childhood after a more severe lung infection or
The condition can also be caused by routinely breathing in food particles while eating.
Symptoms often develop gradually, and may occur months or years after the event that causes the bronchiectasis.
They may include:
Bluish skin color Breath odor
coughwith large amounts of foul-smelling sputum Clubbingof fingers Coughing up blood
- Cough that gets worse when lying on one side
Fatigue Paleness Shortness of breaththat gets worse with exercise Weight loss Wheezing
Signs and tests
When listening to the chest with a stethoscope, the doctor may hear small clicking, bubbling, wheezing, rattling, or other sounds, usually in the lower lobes of the lungs.
Tests may include:
Aspergillosis precipitin test (to check for signs of the aspergillosis fungus)
Alpha-1 antitrypsin blood test
Chest x-ray Chest CT Sputum culture Complete blood count(CBC)
- Genetic testing, including
sweat testfor cystic fibrosis PPD skin testto check for a prior tuberculosis infection Serum immunoglobulin electrophoresis
Treatment is aimed at controlling infections and bronchial secretions, relieving
Regular, daily drainage to remove bronchial secretions is a routine part of treatment. A respiratory therapist can show the patient coughing exercises that will help.
Antibiotics, bronchodilators, and expectorants are often prescribed for infections.
The outlook depends on the specific cause of the disease. With treatment, most people can lead normal lives without major disability.
- Coughing up blood
- Low oxygen levels (in severe cases)
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if:
Chest painor shortness of breath gets worse
- There is a change in color or amount of the phlegm you cough up, or if it is bloody
- Other symptoms get worse or do not improve with treatment
The risk may be reduced if lung infections are promptly treated.
Related:Lung surgery – discharge , Foreign object – inhaled or swallowed, Cystic fibrosis, Cor Pulmonale, Pneumonia – adults (community acquired)