Skip to Main Content


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.

Our Approach to Bronchiectasis

UCSF offers comprehensive evaluations and care for all types of COPD. When treating bronchiectasis, we aim to address underlying conditions, clear mucus from the lungs and prevent complications. Treatments may include medications, physical therapy or devices that help open and clear the airways, and antibiotics to fight any respiratory infection.

Lung surgery or transplantation may be an option for patients with severe cases. UCSF is currently the top lung transplant program in the U.S. for higher-than-expected patient survival rates and graft survival rates (ongoing function of the transplanted lungs).

In addition to caring for patients, we lead research to improve the understanding and treatment of COPD. Interested patients may have the option to receive experimental treatments by participating in a clinical trial.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • usnews-pulmonology

    Best in Northern California for pulmonology & lung surgery

  • Rated high-performing hospital for COPD

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.