Small airways diseases, excluding asthma and COPD: an overview

Eur Respir Rev. 2013 Jun 1;22(128):131-47. doi: 10.1183/09059180.00001313.


This review is the summary of a workshop on small airways disease, which took place in Porquerolles, France in November 2011. The purpose of this workshop was to review the evidence on small airways (bronchiolar) involvement under various pathophysiological circumstances, excluding asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Histopathological patterns associated with small airways disease were reviewed, including cellular and obliterative bronchiolitis. Many pathophysiological conditions have been associated with small airways disease including airway infections, connective tissue diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases, bone marrow and lung transplantation, common variable immunodeficiency disorders, diffuse panbronchiolitis, and diseases related to environmental exposures to pollutants, allergens and drugs. Pathogenesis, clinical presentation, a computed tomography scan and pulmonary function test findings are reviewed, and therapeutic options are described with the objective of providing an integrative approach to these disorders.

Keywords: Airway pathology; connective tissue disease; constrictive bronchiolitis; drug-induced lung disease; follicular bronchiolitis; immune deficiency.

Publication types

  • Congress

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Bronchioles* / pathology
  • Bronchioles* / physiopathology
  • Bronchography / methods
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Lung Diseases / etiology
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed