Bronchiectasis can be caused by a myriad of underlying conditions or environmental insults to the bronchial tree. Despite a detailed evaluation, the cause remains undetermined in approximately 50% of cases. Nonetheless, it is important to use a systematic approach to the diagnostic evaluation of a patient with newly diagnosed bronchiectasis, because a substantial proportion of patients have a specific underlying diagnosis with implications for prognosis or treatment. There is not one panel of tests that can be recommended for all patients. This article reviews the initial evaluation of an adult patient with bronchiectasis.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.