What is bronchiectasis?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Ethan E Emmons, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Bronchiectasis is an uncommon disease, most often secondary to an infectious process, that results in the abnormal and permanent distortion of one or more of the conducting bronchi or airways.

In 1950, Reid characterized bronchiectasis as cylindrical, cystic, or varicose in nature. [1] Cylindrical bronchiectasis involves diffuse mucosal edema, with resultant bronchi that are dilated but have straight, regular outlines that end squarely and abruptly (see the image below).

Cylindrical bronchiectasis with signet-ring appear Cylindrical bronchiectasis with signet-ring appearance. Note that the luminal airway diameter is greater than the diameter of the adjacent vessel.

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