The clinical manifestations typical with bronchiectasis are cough and daily mucopurulent production of sputum which may last from months to years . Blood-streaked sputum or hemoptysis may be as a result of airway damage following acute infection. Less specific symptoms include dsypnea, pleuritic chest pain, weight loss, wheezing and fever.
Dry bronchiectasis which is a rare variant of the condition manifests as episodic hemoptysis which has little-to-no production of sputum. Dry bronchiectasis is as a result of tuberculosis and is equally found in the upper lobes.
Bronchiectasis is a morphologic diagnosis and therefore, it can also exist with very little presentations.
In the standard scenario, bronchiectasis is suspected on the basis of the clinical presentation, mostly following a case where purulent sputum as well as other conditions such as pneumonia and lung abscess has been ruled out . To further strengthen clinical suspicion, a sputum analysis is often used.
CT scanning is often used to confirm the diagnosis. As soon as diagnosis is confirmed, additional laboratory testing may be used to determine the underlying cause of the condition. Even though most causes of bronchiectasis are untreatable, identification of the treatable conditions is very important. In a specific percentage of patients, there is no readily identifiable cause detected. The choice of laboratory tests often varies and should be tailored to the individual patient as well as the clinical situation. The standard criterion however, for diagnosis of bronchiectasis is high resolution CT scanning (HCRT).
The major goals of therapy in dealing with bronchiectasis are as follows :
Early recognition is very important when dealing with bronchiectasis and other related conditions. Also, the management of underlying conditions is very important in the overall treatment of the condition. This may include the use of intravenous immunoglobulin or intravenous alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) therapy.
Antibiotics as well as chest physiotherapy are very important parts of modalities. Other modalities are:
Patients with severe exacerbations of this condition can be treated on admission with a combination of these therapies.
Given the difficulty in identifying prevalence and the lack of definitive studies, it is fairly difficult to estimate current mortality . Generally though, prognosis for patients with bronchiectasis is good. However, it varies based on the type of underlying or predisposing condition. Bronchiectasis associated with cystic fibrosis has the worst form of prognosis.
There are many etiologic factors for bronchiectasis. Some of them are :
The documentation for this condition is poor around the world so it makes it difficult to have definitive figures for the incidence . However, it is estimated that the condition affects 1 in 100,000 people.
There is no racial or sexual predilection as well.
Bronchiectasis refers to an abnormal dilation of the proximal and medium-sized bronchi . It is often caused by the weakening or destruction of the muscular and elastic components of the bronchial walls. Affected areas may also show a variety of changes which may include transmural inflammation, edema, scarring as well as ulceration. The distal lung parenchyma is also prone to damage following persistent microbial infection or frequent postobstructive pneumonia. Bronchiectasis may be congenital but most of the time it is acquired.
Congenital bronchiectasis most of the time affects infants and children. These cases are as a result of developmental arrest of the bronchial tree.
Acquired forms of these is seen in adults or older children and often require an infectious insult, impairment of drainage, airway obstruction as well as a defect in host defence.
The main way to prevent the development of bronchiectasis is to avoid smoking or drop the habit . Individuals struggling with dropping the habit can be put on tobacco cessation programs as soon as possible.
Occupational exposure to chemical fumes and dust is another common cause of development of this condition. People who work with this kind of lung irritant should take precautionary measures to protect themselves such as the use of respiratory protective equipment.
Bronchiectasis is a pulmonary disorder that usually occurs following some type of infection . The condition is rare and results in a permanent distortion of parts of the airways . The disorder is marked by inflamed and easily collapsible airways, obstruction of airflow as well as shortness of breath and an incapability of clearing out secretions within the airways. In some cases hemoptysis can occur while the more severe cases can lead to respiratory failure. The ailment was first recorded in 1819 by Laennec, but over time the prevalence, and treatment of bronchiectasis has changed.
Bronchiectasis is an incurable chronic lung condition where the wall of the airway of your lungs become damaged, losing their ability to clear out mucus. As mucus builds up, bacteria have a favourable environment to grow in and this brings about repetitive lung infections that can bring damage to your airways.
Since the airways are responsible for the delivery of oxygen and expelling of mucus, this condition has serious consequences most of the time. Heart failure, abscess in the brain or even a collapsed lung are some examples of the consequences.