Bronchiectasis is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in which mucus accumulates and sticks in the airways of the lungs, called bronchi. As a result, the airways become infected and inflamed, eventually leading to enlarged and weak airways, which allows more mucus and bacteria to accumulate.
Bronchiectasis most often affects children, although people of all ages are diagnosed with the condition. It can be caused by lung injury from other conditions, including cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, pneumonia and immunodeficiency disorders, such as HIV and AIDS.
Symptoms of bronchiectasis vary for each person and in rare cases, a patient may not experience any symptoms at all. However, common symptoms may include:
In making a diagnosis of bronchiectasis, your doctor will first start by conducting a thorough physical examination, recording your medical history and asking about any symptoms you are experiencing.
The following tests may then be conducted to make a definite diagnosis:
The goal of treatment for bronchiectasis is to treat any underlying conditions causing lung injury, help remove mucus from the lungs and prevent further complications.
Treatment may include:
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.