What is bronchiectasis?
Permanent enlargement of the bronchus is called bronchiectasis. In bronchiectasis, there is usually also destruction of the bronchial wall. There are types of bronchiectasis such as cylindrical, cystic and varicose.
What is the cause of bronchiectasis?
Bronchiectasis mostly occurs after childhood (severe) lung infections. The disease, which is characterized by bronchiectasis that occurs as a result of recurrent infections in the lungs called cystic fibrosis, occurs as a result of a genetic disorder. Since its course in the lungs differs from bronchiectasis other than cystic fibrosis, and cystic fibrosis not only affects the lungs, but also affects organs such as the liver, pancreas, and ovaries, it is a disease that should be evaluated separately, not under the title of bronchiectasis. Bronchiectasis is the result of severe or recurrent infections of the lungs rather than a disease alone. The exception to this situation is congenital bronchiectasis. In congenital bronchiectasis, there may be problems of cartilage development in the bronchial wall.
What are the symptoms of bronchiectasis?
The most common symptom is sputum and cough, sometimes with bloody sputum (hemoptysis). Patients with relatively common bronchiectasis may produce large amounts of sputum due to infections, especially in winter. The location and extent of bronchiectasis is very important. If localized bronchiectasis are in the lower part of the carina, they can often become infected by secretions. Bronchiectasis in the upper lobes can be evaluated as sequelae of pulmonary tuberculosis. They are not usually infected. Bronchiectasis can also be observed in anomalies called pulmonary sequestration. These patients may have massive hemoptysis and this may sometimes result in death. If there is widespread bronchiectasis, diseases such as cystic fibrosis, immunodeficiency, diffuse panbronchiolitis should be investigated.
How is bronchiectasis diagnosed?
Unless bronchiectasis is advanced or widespread, it is not usually seen on chest X-ray. Moderate rales may be heard on auscultation. The presence of a listening finding raises suspicion of bronchiectasis.
While the diagnosis of bronchiectasis used to be made by bronchography, today the preeminent diagnostic method is thorax HRCT (high resolution computed tomography).
Is there a cure for bronchiectasis?
that corrects bronchiectasis There is no treatment that restores a normal bronchus. Patients with bronchiectasis with symptoms such as cough, sputum, and shortness of breath are primarily treated with medication (such as antibiotics, mucolytics, expectorants, inhalers). Clinical improvement can be achieved with drug therapy, but bronchiectasis does not improve. After a while, bronchiectasis may become infected again and patients’ symptoms may reappear. Such patients may benefit from flu and pneumonia vaccines. If the bronchiectasis is unilateral and recurrent hemoptysis or bronchiectasis areas are frequently infected despite appropriate medical treatment, the option of surgery is considered. That is, the lung area with bronchiectasis can be resected (removed by surgery). Apart from the operation, bronchial artery embolization for hemoplysis and rational use of antibiotics for infection can be considered as other options. There is almost no operation option in bilateral bronchiectasis. If an underlying disease is detected as the cause of bronchiectasis in a patient with bronchiectasis, precautions are taken regarding that disease. For example, if immune globulin deficiency is detected, immune globulin replacement is performed, antibiotics and other accompanying conditions are treated when necessary.