Encyclopedia Home / B / Bronchiectasis


  • Definition

    Bronchiectasis is destruction and widening of the large airways.

    • If the condition is present at birth, it is called congenital bronchiectasis.
    • If it develops later in life, it is called acquired bronchiectasis.

    Alternative Names

    Acquired bronchiectasis; Congenital bronchiectasis

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Bronchiectasis is often caused by recurrent inflammation or infection of the airways. It most often begins in childhood as a complication from infection or inhaling a foreign object.

    Cystic fibrosis causes about a third of all bronchiectasis cases in the United States. Certain genetic conditions can also cause bronchiectasis, including primary ciliary dyskinesia and immunodeficiency syndromes.

    The condition can also be caused by routinely breathing in food particles while eating.