How does chronic wet cough increase the risk for bronchiectasis?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Ethan E Emmons, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Chronic wet cough may also be an indicator of bronchiectasis. In a retrospective study of 144 Australian children with a chronic wet cough, Goyal and colleagues found that those whose cough did not resolve after 4 weeks of treatment with oral antibiotics were 20 times more likely to have bronchiectasis. All children underwent chest multi-detector CT (MDCT) scans. Of the 144 children, 106 exhibited evidence of bronchiectasis on their MDCT scan. [78, 79]

Antibiotic data were available for 129 of the children. Of the 105 children whose cough lingered after appropriate antibiotic treatment, 88 (83.8%) had bronchiectasis, while only 6 (25.0%) of the 24 children whose cough resolved had bronchiectasis. Being Indigenous was independently associated with having bronchiectasis.

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