Nasreen Khalil, MD, FRCPC, FCCP, Associate Professor of Medicine, The University of British Columbia, Jack Bell Research Centre, Vancouver, BC.
Bronchiectasis is an anatomic abnormality of the airway characterized by irreversible dilatation and thickening of the airway wall. The most common etiology in older patients appears to be a previous pulmonary infection. Prior to the antibiotic era the age group most frequently affected by bronchiectasis was young children. Currently, bronchiectasis is seen primarily in individuals between the ages of 60 and 80. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Hemophilus influenza are the most commonly isolated pathogens in the sputum of bronchiectatic patients. Treatment consists of ruling out reversible or correctible causes, commencing antibiotic therapy, and improving bronchial hygiene.
Key words: bronchiectasis, chronic cough, chronic sputum, mucociliary, immunodeficiency.