From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bronchiectasis is an obstructive lung disease. It is caused by inflammation of the bronchi. It is sometimes said to be part of the group of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. People with bronchiectasis have swollen bronchi.

Signs[change | change source]

People with bronchiectasis have pain in their chests. Some people with bronchiectasis make sputum that is green or pale yellow. The most common symptom of bronchiectasis is a cough that does not go away. 9 out of 10 people with the disease have this symptom. 3 out of 4 people with bronchiectasis often cough up a lot of sputum. This causes tiredness. People with bronchiectasis may also cough up blood. This is called haemoptysis. People with bronchiectasis may have bad breath. Some people with bronchiectasis have sinusitis that does not go away.

Types[change | change source]

There are three kinds of bronchiectasis. These are:

  • Cylindrical bronchiectasis
  • Varicose bronchiectasis
  • Saccular or cystic - This is the most severe type. It is often found in people with cystic fibrosis.

Causes[change | change source]

People can be born with bronchiectasis or they can develop it later. In about 4 out of 10 cases, a cause is found. People who have rheumatoid arthiritis and smoke are ten times more likely to have the disease.[1] Patients with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency have also been found to be more likely to get bronchiectasis but it is not known why.[2]

Diagnosis[change | change source]

It is usually diagnosed using a CT scan.

Treatment[change | change source]

Antibiotics are used to treat bronchiectasis. It can also be treated with other drugs. Sometimes surgery is needed.

Prevention[change | change source]

To prevent bronchiectasis, it is essential to avoid lung infections and lung damage that can cause it. Children should get vaccines to protect against measles, whooping cough, and pneumonia. Parents should watch their children to prevent them from breathing in small objects like food or toys. People with bronchiectasis should avoid smoking and breathing in harmful fumes or gases that can cause infections and more problems.

To slow down the progress of this long-term disease, doctors recommend keeping the airways clear and removing mucus from the lungs. Antibiotics can be used to treat infections and stop the cycle of damage and more infections. Regular vaccines for pneumonia, the flu, and whooping cough can also help. Maintaining a healthy body weight and seeing a doctor regularly can also be helpful. The severity of symptoms and the extent of damage seen on X-rays can affect how likely a person is to survive this disease.

History[change | change source]

René Laennec wrote the first description of bronchiectasis in 1819.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Kaushik, V; Hutchinson, D; Desmond, J; Lynch, M; Dawson, J (1 August 2004). "Association between bronchiectasis and smoking in patients with rheumatoid arthritis". Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 63 (8): 1001–1002. doi:10.1136/ard.2003.015123. PMC 1755104. PMID 15249329.
  2. Shin MS, Ho KJ (1993). "Bronchiectasis in patients with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency. A rare occurrence?". Chest 104 (5): 1384–86. doi:10.1378/chest.104.5.1384. PMID 8222792.
  3. Roguin, Ariel (1 September 2006). "Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laënnec (1781–1826): The Man Behind the Stethoscope". Clinical Medicine and Research. 4 (3): 230–235. doi:10.3121/cmr.4.3.230. PMC 1570491. PMID 17048358.