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Alternative namesAcquired bronchiectasis; Congenital bronchiectasis
DefinitionBronchiectasis is an abnormal destruction and dilation (widening) of the large airways. A person may be born with it (congenital bronchiectasis) or may acquire it later in life as a result of another disorder.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Bronchiectasis is often caused by recurrent inflammation or infection of the airways. It may be present at birth, but most often begins in childhood as a complication from infection or inhaling a foreign object .
Signs and tests
When listening to the chest with a stethoscope, the doctor may hear small clicking, bubbling, rattling, or other sounds, usually in the lower lobes of the lungs.
Treatment is aimed at controlling infections and bronchial secretions, relieving airway obstruction , and preventing complications.
With treatment, most people can lead normal lives without major disability.
Calling your health care providerCall your health care provider if:
The risk may be reduced if lung infections are promptly treated.
Update Date: 2/6/2003David A. Kaufman, M.D., Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT