Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Bronchiectasis Overview

What is bronchiectasis?
A person with bronchiectasis has permanent damage to the lungs that causes weakening of the walls that make up the small air passageways. The changes can cause collapse of the air passageways, which can result in pneumonia, chronic bronchitis and difficulty breathing. Bronchiectasis is more common in smokers and in those with emphysema, COPD, and cystic fibrosis.

What are the symptoms of bronchiectasis?
Common symptoms of bronchiectasis include a chronic productive cough and shortness of breath with exertion. Other symptoms include wheezing, fatigue, chronic headaches, and leg swelling.

How does the doctor treat bronchiectasis?
Treatment for bronchiectasis includes oxygen, daily respiratory therapy, bronchodilator medications, inhaled corticosteroids, and antibiotics. Bronchoscopy may be offered to relieve severe bronchial obstructions.

Continue to Bronchiectasis Incidence

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Bronchiectasis References
  1. Barker AF: Bronchiectasis. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1995 Apr; 7(2): 112-8. [7612755]
  2. Franco F, Sheikh A, Greenstone M: Short acting beta-2 agonists for bronchiectasis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2003; CD003572. [12917973]
  3. ten Hacken N, Kerstjens H, Postma D. Bronchiectasis. Clin Evid. 2004 Jun;(11):1998-2002. [15652093]
  4. Tsang KW, Tan KC, Ho PL, et al: Inhaled fluticasone in bronchiectasis: a 12 month study. Thorax 2005 Mar; 60(3): 239-43. [15741443]
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