Bronchiectasis is a bronchopulmonary disorder characterized by abnormal bronchial wall thickening and dilatation of central and medium sized bronchi caused by repeated cycles of airway infection and inflammation with mediator release (1).
It is usually accompanied by a chronic cough, mucopurulent sputum production and recurrent infections (2).
This condition may be due to an increased outward traction on the bronchi and weakness of the bronchial wall due to inflammation.
It may present in two forms:
- local or focal obstructive bronchiectasis -
- limited to a lobe or a segment of the lung
- recognition is important since local intervention with bronchoscopic procedures or surgery may help in palliation and sometimes cure
- diffuse bronchiectasis -
- widespread involvement of both lung
- often associated with other sinopulmonary diseases (sinusitis, asthma) (3)
- (1) ten Hacken NH, van der Molen T. Bronchiectasis. BMJ. 2010;341
- (2) O'Donnell AE. Bronchiectasis. Chest. 2008;134(4):815-23
- (3) Barker AF. Bronchiectasis. N Engl J Med. 2002;346(18):1383-93
Last reviewed 02/2021