Encyclopedia Home / B / Bronchiectasis


  • Alternative Names

    Acquired bronchiectasis; Congenital bronchiectasis


    Symptoms often develop gradually, and may occur months or years after the event that causes the bronchiectasis.

    They may include:

    • Bluish skin color
    • Breath odor
    • Chronic cough with large amounts of foul-smelling sputum
    • Clubbing of fingers
    • Coughing up blood
    • Cough that gets worse when lying on one side
    • Fatigue
    • Paleness
    • Shortness of breath that gets worse with exercise
    • Weight loss
    • Wheezing

    Signs and tests

    When listening to the chest with a stethoscope, the doctor may hear small clicking, bubbling, wheezing, rattling, or other sounds, usually in the lower lobes of the lungs.

    Tests may include:

    • Aspergillosis precipitin test (to check for signs of the aspergillosis fungus)
    • Alpha-1 antitrypsin blood test
    • Chest x-ray
    • Chest CT
    • Sputum culture
    • Complete blood count (CBC)
    • Genetic testing, including sweat test for cystic fibrosis
    • PPD skin test to check for a prior tuberculosis infection
    • Serum immunoglobulin electrophoresis