Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis:   An irreversible condition marked by chronic abnormal dilation of bronchi and destruction of bronchial walls, this disorder can occur throughout the tracheobronchial tree or can be confined to one segment or lobe.  It is usually bilateral, involving the basilar segments of the lower lobes.  Bronchiectasis has three forms:  Cylindrical (fusiform), varicose, and saccular (cystic).  It affects people of both sexes and all ages.

Bronchus:  one of the larger passages conveying air to (right or left principal bronchus) and within the lungs (lobar and segmental bronchi)

Cause:  Bronchiectasis results from conditions associated with repeated damage to bronchial walls and abnormal mucociliary clearance, which cause a breakdown of supporting tissue adjacent to airways.  Conditions include:

Mucoviscidosis (cystic fibrosis of the pancreas)
Immunologic disorders
Recurrent, inadequately treated bacterial respiratory tract infections
Measles, pneumonia, pertussis, or influenza
Obstruction (by a foreign body, tumor, or stenosis) associated with recurrent infection
Inhalation of corrosive gas or repeated aspiration of gastric juices into the lungs
Congenital anomalies

Symptoms:

May start off with no symptoms at all (asymptomatic)

Chronic cough that produces copious, foul-smelling, mucopurulent (pus) secretions

Coarse crackles during inspiration over involved lobes or segments

Wheezes

Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)

Weight loss

malaise

Recurrent fever

Chills

Other signs of infections

Treatment:

Antibiotic therapy

Bronchodilators

Postural drainage and chest percussion

Bronchoscopy may be used occasionally to aid mobilization of secretions.

Oxygen therapy for patient with hypoxemia

Severe hemoptysis commonly requires lobectomy or segmental resection

* To help prevent this disease, vigorously treat bacterial pneumonia.

* Immunization to prevent childhood diseases

Latest Article: Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis:    An irreversible condition marked by chronic abnormal dilation of bronchi and destruction of bronchial walls, this disorder can occur throughout the tracheobronchial tree or can be confined to one segment or lobe.  It is usually bilateral, involving the basilar segments of the lower lobes.  Bronchiectasis has three forms:  Cylindrical...

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