Bronchiectasis:   An irreversible condition
marked by chronic abnormal dilation of bronchi and destruction of bronchial
walls, this disorder can occur throughout the tracheobronchial tree or
can be confined to one segment or lobe.  It is usually bilateral,
involving the basilar segments of the lower lobes.  Bronchiectasis
has three forms:  Cylindrical (fusiform), varicose, and saccular (cystic). 
It affects people of both sexes and all ages.

Bronchus:  one of the larger passages conveying air to (right
or left principal bronchus) and within the lungs (lobar and segmental bronchi)

Cause:  Bronchiectasis results from conditions associated
with repeated damage to bronchial walls and abnormal mucociliary clearance,
which cause a breakdown of supporting tissue adjacent to airways. 
Conditions include:

Mucoviscidosis (cystic fibrosis of the pancreas)

Immunologic disorders

Recurrent, inadequately treated bacterial respiratory tract infections

Measles, pneumonia, pertussis, or influenza

Obstruction (by a foreign body, tumor, or stenosis) associated
with recurrent infection

Inhalation of corrosive gas or repeated aspiration of gastric juices
into the lungs

Congenital anomalies


May start off with no symptoms at all (asymptomatic)

Chronic cough that produces copious, foul-smelling, mucopurulent (pus)

Coarse crackles during inspiration over involved lobes or segments


Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)

Weight loss


Recurrent fever


Other signs of infections


Antibiotic therapy


Postural drainage and chest percussion

Bronchoscopy may be used occasionally to aid mobilization of secretions.

Oxygen therapy for patient with hypoxemia

Severe hemoptysis commonly requires lobectomy or segmental resection

* To help prevent this disease, vigorously treat bacterial pneumonia.

* Immunization to prevent childhood diseases