How is the severity of acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (ABECB) determined?

Updated: Jul 22, 2021
  • Author: Jazeela Fayyaz, DO; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Bacterial pathogens are identified in less than half of all ABECB cases. The Anthonisen Criteria is typically used to qualify severity of acute exacerbations. Three clinical factors are considered: dyspnea, sputum volume, and sputum purulence. Antibiotic treatment is recommended for moderate (2 of 3 symptoms) or severe (all 3 symptoms) exacerbations. Change in sputum color has also been recognized to be a strong predictor of presence of potentially pathologic microorganisms in ABECB. Green and yellow sputum are more likely than white sputum to be culture positive.


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