Bronchiectasis can be congenital (meaning that the patient already had it before being born), or caused by lifestyle and environmental factors. Congenital bronchiectasis happens when the lungs develop abnormally in utero. With acquired, or environmental bronchiectasis, damages to the airways can begin during childhood; however, a person might not develop any symptoms until many years later. Some of the most common causes of bronchiectasis are:
What is Bronchiectasis?
ronchiectasis is a disease of the lungs that causes damaged airways to permanently dilate. This leads mucus build up in the patient’s lungs, making it harder to breathe and creating a viable environment for bacteria and infections. Bronchiectasis often happens after repeated damage to the airways and lungs, which may happen from chronic infections or autoimmune diseases. A fairly uncommon disease, there are about 139 cases per 100,000 adults in the United States, and it tends to affect women more often than it does men. Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition, meaning that there is no cure for it, however, there are treatments available that can help patients control and manage their symptoms. Bronchiectasis clinical trials are ongoing in the United States and around the world, with a variety of treatments being tested.
What Causes Bronchiectasis?
How is Bronchiectasis Diagnosed?
When a patient has a persistent cough with large quantities of phlegm (mucus), the doctor may suspect bronchiectasis and order different types of tests. These tests include:
While most patients with bronchiectasis have chronic symptoms, a particularly severe episode is called an exacerbation. During an exacerbation, the patient experiences at least three of the following symptoms:
- Increase in sputum volume
- More breathing difficulty than usual
- Change in sputum color
- Weakness or fatigue
- Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
- Increased coughing
Though there is no cure for bronchiectasis, treatments exist to alleviate symptoms and prevent exacerbations. Some of the treatments (including some clinical research) to prevent exacerbations include:
- Vaccines: doctors may recommend patients to get pneumococcal and flu vaccines in order to protect the lungs against the virus. Any virus that attacks or affects the airways can be extremely dangerous to a patient with bronchiectasis.
- Bronchodilators: these are medications that open the airways to allow breathing. Some bronchodilators that might be prescribed for patients with bronchiectasis include albuterol, formoterol, and levalbuterol.
- Antibiotics: patients with bronchiectasis experience repeated lung infections. A one to two-week antibiotic cycle is the treatment of choice to for these infections. Doctors also prescribe antibiotics during an exacerbation episode.
- Oxygen therapy: can be prescribed during exacerbations or in severe cases of bronchiectasis in order to increase blood oxygen levels.
- Surgery: a doctor may recommend surgery when the bronchiectasis is limited to one part of the airway or if severe bleeding occurs. During surgery, the doctor removes the damaged or affected area of the airway, or in severe cases, the patient may receive a lung transplant.
Bronchiectasis Clinical Trials
ClinicalTrials.gov: Recruiting Studies | Bronchiectasis | Last update posted in the last 300 days Studies found on ClinicalTrials.gov by a search of: Recruiting Studies | Bronchiectasis | Last update posted in the last 300 days
Inhalations of Ultra-low Doses of Melphalan for the Treatment of Non-cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis
on February 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Condition: Non-cystic Fibrosis BronchiectasisIntervention: Drug: MelphalanSponsors: Federal State Budgetary Institution, Pulmonology Scientific Research Institute; Moscow State University of Medicine and DentistryRecruiting
Clinical Effectiveness Of High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation (HFCWO) In A Bronchiectasis Population
on February 17, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Condition: BronchiectasisIntervention: Device: SmartVest Airway Clearance SystemSponsors: Electromed, Inc.; University of Alabama at BirminghamRecruiting
Feasibility Study of the AffloVest in Bronchiectasis
on February 12, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Condition: BronchiectasisIntervention: Device: AffloVestSponsor: Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation TrustRecruiting
Comparison of the Efficacy of Comprehensive Respiratory Physiotherapy in Children With Cystic Fibrosis and Non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis
on November 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Conditions: Cystic Fibrosis; BronchiectasisIntervention: Other: Comprehensive Respiratory PhysiotherapySponsor: Bezmialem Vakif UniversityRecruiting
The Effect of Long Term Therapy With High Flow Humidification Compared to Usual Care in Patients With Bronchiectasis (BX)
on October 29, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Conditions: Bronchiectasis Adult; Lung Infection; Quality of Life; Humidifier Lung; COPD Exacerbation; COPD AsthmaIntervention: Device: High Flow HumidificationSponsor: Dr. Giuseppe FiorentinoRecruiting
Randomised Open Label Trial of Hypertonic Saline and Carbocisteine in Bronchiectasis (CLEAR)
on October 25, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Condition: BronchiectasisInterventions: Drug: Hypertonic saline; Drug: Carbocysteine 750 MGSponsors: Belfast Health and Social Care Trust; Queen's University, BelfastRecruiting
Effect of AIRVO Heated Humidification in Bronchiectasis
on September 25, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Condition: Bronchiectasis AdultIntervention: Device: Over-night treatment with myAIRVO2Sponsors: Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico; Azienda Ospedaliera San Gerardo di Monza; ASST Fatebenefratelli Sacco; Policlinico San Matteo Pavia Fondazione IRCCS; Ospedale Maggiore Di Trieste; Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Modena; Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS; Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri; Università degli Studi di Ferrara; Azienda Ospedaliero, Universitaria Pisana; Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Bologna Policlinico S. Orsola Malpighi; Ospedale San Paolo; Universita degli Studi di Catania; Azienda Ospedaliera di Padova; University of Palermo; Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Parma; University of Foggia; Monaldi Hospital; Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi Onlus; Ospedale San DonatoRecruiting
Prevalence of Bronchiectasis in COPD Patients
on September 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Conditions: Bronchiectasis; Chronic Obstruct Airways Disease; PrognosisIntervention: Other: prevalenceSponsor: Assiut UniversityRecruiting
The Effect of Different Virtual Reality-Based Exercise Trainings on Pulmonary Function, Respiratory and Peripheral Muscle Strength, Functional Capacity and Balance in Children With Bronchiectasis
on July 31, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Condition: BronchiectasisInterventions: Other: Conventional Chest Physiotherapy; Other: Nintendo Wii Fit Based Exercise Training; Other: BreathingLabs Breathing Games Based Exercise TrainingSponsor: Bezmialem Vakif UniversityRecruiting
A Pilot Study to Evaluate the Use of the Vest® System for Treatment of Bronchiectasis Patients in the Home Setting
on July 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Conditions: Bronchiectasis; Bronchiectasis With Acute ExacerbationInterventions: Device: High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation; Device: Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP)Sponsor: Hill-RomRecruiting
Effect of Roflumilast on Quality of Life, Lung Function and Mucus Properties in Patients With Bronchiectasis
on June 17, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Condition: Bronchiectasis AdultInterventions: Drug: Roflumilast; Drug: Placebo oral tabletSponsors: University of Sao Paulo General Hospital; FAPESP - Fundação de Apoio à Pesquisa do Estado de São PauloRecruiting
A Clinical Trial to Compare the Efficacy and Safety of 1-week Treatment of Intravenous N-acetylcysteine (NAC) 600 mg Twice Daily, Ambroxol Hydrochloride 30 mg Twice Daily and Placebo as Expectorant Therapies in Adult Chinese Patients With Respiratory Tract Diseases and Abnormal Mucus Secretions
on February 18, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Conditions: Respiratory Tract Diseases; Abnormal Mucus SecretionsInterventions: Drug: N-acetylcysteine (NAC) 600 mg; Drug: Ambroxol hydrochloride 30 mg; Other: placeboSponsor: Zambon SpARecruiting
- Learn to recognize what might trigger an exacerbation event so you are always prepared and able to act fast.
- Try to quit smoking if you smoke. Smoking affects your lungs and can cause further damage.
- Avoid strong smells and lung irritants such as dust, smoke, and fumes.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to someone. Talking about your feelings, fears, and concerns with people who are going through the same as you can be very helpful. There are several online and in-person support groups for patients with bronchiectasis.
- Make sure your loved one seeks treatment for his/her bronchiectasis, especially during a severe exacerbation.
- Be patient with your loved one, chronic lung conditions can be very frightening and uncomfortable. Offer to help whenever you can and be understanding of their condition.
- Try to keep the environment around your loved one clean and free of dust and other contaminants that might make their condition worse.
- Patients with chronic lung diseases are more prone to emotional problems such as anxiety and depression. If you think your loved one might be struggling with his/her condition reach out and encourage them to seek expert help.