Background: We aimed at assessing the pulmonary function and life quality of patients with bronchiectasis not caused by cystic fibrosis (CF) on the basis of the presence or absence of colonization (with Pseudomonas or other microorganisms).
Patients and method: Prospective, randomised control-case study of patients with bronchiectasis who came to the Pneumology area of the Hospital Universitario de Canarias between January 1999 and December 2000 in a stable clinic situation. Patients must had no antibiotic therapy over last six weeks before the study. Patients with CF and patients who had an acute respiratory disease were excluded. We obtained two sputum samples for culture with an interval of six weeks between both. We determined the expiratory flow in the first second (FEV1), the forced vital capacity (FVC) and arterial gases. Quality of life was measured by the St. George respiratory questionnaire.
Results: We included 70 patients, 25 males (35%) and 45 females (64%), with a mean (SD) age of 56 (17) years. There were 14 patients who had Pseudomonas (Ps-group), 10 who had other microorganisms (another-group) and 46 patients who had no microorganism in sputum culture (no-group). The pulmonary function of the no-group (FEV<SUB<1%: 73  and FVC%: 79 ) was better than that of the Ps-group (FEV1%: 47 ; p = 0.00; FVC%: 61 ; p = 0.04). The quality of life of the no-group (total score (TS): 33.2 [18.9]) was better than that of the Ps-group (TS: 54 [23.2]; p = 0.00) and that of the another-group (TS: 52.2 [20.4]; p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Non CF patients whose bronchiectasis are colonized with Pseudomonas have worse pulmonary function and quality of life than uncolonized ones. Moreover, patients having microorganisms other than Pseudomonas have a worse quality of life than those without microorganisms.