Non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis: epidemiology, diagnosis and current treatment

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Bronchiectasis is a relatively common disease in adults and children. It manifests by productive cough with purulent sputum and hemoptysis. Non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis usually develops secondary to the lower respiratory tract infections, including tuberculosis. However, all patients should be thoroughly investigated to rule out the more rare causes of bronchiectasis. High-resolution computed tomography is the method of choice for diagnosis of bronchiectasis. Treatment for bronchiectasis remains largely empirical. The airway clearance techniques should be available to all patients. Nebulised hypertonic saline 7% may be also used to improve evacuation of sputum. Infectious exacerbations should be treated with antibiotics. Long-term antibacterial therapy is justified in patients with frequent bronchopulmonary infections.

Key words

Bronchiectasis, high-resolution computed tomography.