Bronchiectasis 101

Below are some key points regarding bronchiectasis:

  • Damage to the airways causing them to widen and become scarred. This causes impaired clearance of mucous resulting in buildup and recurrent lung infections.
  • Congenital etiologies (cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency) versus acquired (post-infection, idiopathic, aspiration, immunodeficiency, auto-immune, ABPA).
  • Patients presents with chronic cough and sputum production. Affects women more than men.
  • Typically diagnosed by high resolution CT scan.
  • At risk for chronic colonization by Pseudomonas.
  • Typical infectious organisms include H. influenzae, Pseudomonas, Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycobacterium, Staph.
  • Treatment: Treat underlying condition, antimicrobrial therapy, surgical resection, lung transplant for end stage disease.

O’Donnell. CHEST. 2008.