Which findings on CT are characteristic of bronchiectasis?

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

The following are noteworthy aspects of CT findings in bronchiectasis:

  • Cylindrical bronchiectasis has parallel tram track lines, or it may have a signet-ring appearance composed of a dilated bronchus cut in a horizontal section with an adjacent pulmonary artery representing the stone

  • The diameter of the bronchus lumen is normally 1-1.5 times that of the adjacent vessel; a diameter greater than 1.5 times that of the adjacent vessel is suggestive of bronchiectasis

  • Varicose bronchiectasis has irregular or beaded bronchi, with alternating areas of dilatation and constriction

  • Cystic bronchiectasis has large cystic spaces and a honeycomb appearance; this contrasts with the blebs of emphysema, which have thinner walls and are not accompanied by proximal airway abnormalities

For more information on the radiologic approach to bronchiectasis, see Bronchiectasis Imaging.


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